Last Update: 24-Feb-15 10:50 ET
- The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index declined to 96.4 in February from an upwardly revised 103.8 (from 102.9) in January. The Briefing.com Consensus expected the Consumer Confidence Index to fall to 99.6.
- Consumers are getting awfully picky when examining current economic trends. Even though gasoline prices are down more than $1.50 a gallon since the beginning of last summer, the stock market flirts with new historical highs, and unemployment levels continue to drop, the very slight deterioration of those conditions over the past few weeks has caused consumers to reexamine their outlook on the economy.
- This was mostly seen in the Expectations Index, which dropped from 97.0 in January to 87.2 in February. In other words, a $0.30 increase in the price of a gallon of gas caused consumers to backpeddle on their economic assessment of the future.
- Fortunately, consumption growth is not reliant on confidence measures. As long as income growth accelerates, consumption gains will follow regardless of how confidence performs.
- Consumer confidence has little influence on consumption. As long as payroll levels continue to expand, the resulting income growth should keep consumption gains steady regardless of the monthly ebbs and flows in sentiment.
|Employment ('plentiful' less 'hard to get')
|1 yr inflation expectations