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Consumer Confidence: Modest Decline As Expectations Ease

February 22, 2022
Bottom Line:  The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index declined modestly in February as consumers' expectations for the remainder of 2022 eased further. This survey has contrasted sharply with the University of Michigan's survey, which has shown notably lower consumer confidence. Survey sampling, especially of consumers, was getting difficult even before the pandemic and has become even more difficult since. The mix of political affiliations has skewed survey results more in the last six years. That said, critical components of this survey align with Michigan's survey, namely fewer consumers planning to purchase homes, automobiles, major appliances, and vacations. Moreover, consumers in both surveys reported concerns about inflation. Overall, the aggregate US consumer remains well-positioned to spend with fortified balance sheets thanks to the pandemic stimulus, but there are concerns their willingness to spend is easing.
Consumer Confidence FELL by 0.6 points in February to 110.5, compared with market expectations for a decline to 110.0.  The index is now 16.1% ABOVE its year-ago level.
Present Situation Index ROSE by 0.6 points to 145.1. The index is 52.7% ABOVE its year-ago level.
The Expectations Index
FELL by 1.3 points to 87.5.  The index is 8.3% BELOW its year-ago level.
The labor differential,
the percentage of respondents who said jobs are “plentiful” from the percentage who said jobs are “hard to get” , moved lower by 82.8 points to -39.0.
Article by Contingent Macro Advisors