The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index was at 130.7 in February after 103.4 in January (previously 131.6). February saw a decline in consumers’ perceptions of current conditions at 165.1 after 173.9, but the six-month outlook improved to 107.8 after 101.4. If the report was below market forecasts, it was still for elevated confidence and the index was at the highest since 134.2 in August 2019. Worries about a possible recession have eased since then along with lower interest rates and a job market that seems well above to absorb new workers and any workers laid off, and bring in workers who were previously discouraged or faced other barriers to employment.
Declines in confidence in present employment and business conditions were more than offset by increases in expectations for employment, income, and business conditions. There may be some immediate worries about things like the possible arrival of more than isolated COVID-19 cases in the US or the contentious political climate in an election year, but the near future continues to look bright.
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