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First Cut: Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index rebounds in February, but remains below peaks in 2018

The February Consumer Confidence Index from The Conference Board rebounded to 131.4 from 121.7 in January, although it remains below levels seen late in 2018. Confidence in president conditions was only slightly higher at 173.5 from 170.2 in the prior month, in February the six-month expectations index surged to 103.4 from 89.4 in January when it was depressed by the long partial federal government shutdown.

Of the five components that make up the index, expected employment and expected business conditions reflected the end of the shutdown and a resurgence in confidence for six-months from now. However, the direction of personal income in the future remained negative. Present employment and business conditions were both narrowly positive.

The bottom line is that continued strong labor market conditions remain a fundamental source of confidence in the economy against a noisy news background.

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