United States: Consumer confidence improves in December
December 29, 2015
The Conference Board consumer confidence index increased to 96.5 points in December from a revised 92.6 points in November (previously reported: 90.4 points). December’s result beat market expectations of 93.5 points. Despite the improvement, the confidence index followed a volatile path during 2015. Moreover, it is unclear how confidence levels and consumer spending, the motor of the economy, will evolve going forward.
December’s increase in confidence was driven by gains in consumers’ expectations on conditions in the next six months,. Consumers’ expectations regarding business conditions and employment prospects in the coming months were stronger in December. Sentiment regarding current economic conditions also increased.
The director of the Board emphasized that, “as 2015 draws to a close, consumers’ assessment of the current state of the economy remains positive, particularly their assessment of the job market. Looking ahead to 2016, consumers are expecting little change in both business conditions and the labor market. Expectations regarding their financial outlook are mixed, but the optimists continue to outweigh the pessimists.”
Author: Carl Kelly, Economist