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Consumer Confidence:  Sharply Higher Again

February 27, 2018
Bottom Line: Fast approaching levels not seen since 1999, the consumer confidence index jumped again in February. Consumers were more optimistic about both short- and long-term outlooks for the economy and jobs. Additionally, 6-month outlooks for business rose moderately and outlooks for income rose modestly. With the federal tax changes now more fully understood and changes to payroll withholding starting to come through to paychecks, consumers are sounding even more optimistic than they have in the last year.

Consumer Confidence ROSE by 6.5 points in February to 130.8, compared with market expectations for an increase to 126.5. The index is now 12.7% ABOVE its year ago level.

Present Situation Index ROSE by 7.7 points to 162.4. The index is 20.8% ABOVE its year ago level.

The Expectations Index ROSE by 5.7 points to 109.7. The index is 5.6% ABOVE 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 3.8 points to 24.7.