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Consumer Confidence: Leveling Out After Big Gains

January 31, 2017
Bottom Line: Consumers' assessments of the economy deteriorated modestly in January after reaching a 15-year high in December. Confidence, at 111.8, is equal to its three month average of 111.5. Consumers' assessments of current situations increased while headline expectations gave back some of the very big gains seen in December. Additionally, details were negative as 6-month outlooks for business fell modestly, outlooks for income fell modestly and employment also fell modestly. Overall, though, modest but steady job gains, low volatility in prices at the gas station and grocery store and steady stock market gains amid a new political regime still leave the consumer with nearly their brightest outlook since before the recession 7+ years ago.

Consumer Confidence FELL by 1.5 points in January to 111.8, compared with market expectations for a decline to 112.8. The index is now 14.3% ABOVE its year ago level.

Present Situation Index ROSE by 6.2 points to 129.7. The index is 11.2% ABOVE its year ago level.

The Expectations Index FELL by 6.6 points to 99.8. The index is in-line with its year ago level.

The labor differential, the percentage of respondents who said jobs are “hard to get” from the percentage who said jobs are “plentiful” , moved higher by 2.6 points to 5.9.