Industry News

Consumer confidence jumps in January

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The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had increased in December, improved further in January. The index now stands at 106.3, up from 103.8 in December. The present situation index rose to 128.4 from 120.7. The expectations index declined to 91.5 from 92.6 last month. "Consumer Confidence is now at its highest level in more than three years (June 2002, 106.3)," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. "This month's increase was driven solely by consumers' assessment of current economic conditions, especially their more positive view of the job market. But while consumers rate current conditions more favorably than they have in more than four years (Aug. 2001, 144.5), the improvement has not translated into greater optimism about the near-term future. In fact, the gap between consumers' assessment of current conditions and their expectations remains wide." Overall, consumers' assessment of present-day conditions was more favorable in...