United States: Consumers less confident in February
February 25, 2014
In February, the Conference Board consumer confidence index fell from January's 79.4 points to 78.1 points. The reading contrasted market expectations of a rise to 80.1 points.
February's decrease in confidence was driven by a deterioration in consumers' expectations regarding their personal finances over the next 12 months. Respondents' assessment of the future job market was also more negative; a greater number of people anticipated fewer jobs in the coming months. In contrast, households surveyed had a more optimistic outlook of their current financial situations.
The Conference Board emphasized that consumers have differing views of the present versus the future. The director of the Board explained that, "consumers believe the economy has improved, but they do not foresee it gaining considerable momentum in the months ahead. Confidence declined in February on concern over the short-term outlook for business conditions, jobs, and earnings."
Author: Carl Kelly, Economist