United States consumer confidence rises in February

Andrew Cummings
March 2, 2017

In comparison, the national Consumer Confidence Index® increased 3.2 points from January to February and now sits at 114.8.

Consumer confidence also increased in Alberta in February, with the provincial index rising 8.2 points to 67.5 - its highest level since March 2015.

The positive outlook among participants in the Conference Board survey somewhat reflected the towering optimism indicated by the stock market's steady rise, with marginal increases in the portion of consumers expecting more job availability and higher incomes in the future, compared to the previous month. Despite a weak employment performance last month, expectations regarding job prospects improved for the fourth consecutive month in February. Those saying business conditions are "bad" also decreased, from 15.9% to 13.2%. Consumers' assessment of the labor market was also mixed.

The survey, a closely followed barometer of consumer attitudes, measures confidence toward business conditions, short-term outlook, personal finances and jobs.

Those who said jobs are plentiful decreased from 27.1% to 26.2% while those who said jobs are hard to get also decreased from 21.2% to 20.3%.

The stock market, however, told a much more optimistic story, with major USA indexes toppling record highs.

Consumers were more optimistic in February about the short-term outlook, according to the Conference Board - with a more than 1 percentage point gain in the share of those expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months.

The proportion of consumers expecting more jobs in the months ahead increased from 19.7 percent to 20.4 percent and those anticipating fewer jobs declined from 14.4 percent to 13.6 percent.

About The Conference Board The Conference Board is a global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. The Buy segment offers consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers the industry's only global view of retail performance measurement.

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