Consumer Confidence Edged Higher In January

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NEW YORK (UPI) — Consumer confidence in the U.S. economy climbed for the second consecutive month in January, the Conference Board said Tuesday.

The index, which slipped September through November, rebounded in December, rising from 72 to a revised 77.5 in December. In January, it rose to 80.7, the research firm said.

The index assigns the average 1985 level a base level of 100.

The Conference Board’s Present Situation Index rose from 75.3 to 79.1 in January. The Expectations Index, which measures confidence in the economy six months ahead, rose from 79 to 81.8.

In the monthly survey that involved more than 5,000 households, the percentage of respondents who indicated they believe business conditions were “good” rose from 20.2 percent to 21.5 percent, while those indicating a belief that business conditions were “bad” decreased from 23.2 percent to 22.8 percent.

The percentage of respondents indicating jobs were “plentiful,” rose slightly from 11.9 percent to 12.7 percent, while those indicating jobs were difficult to get fell from 32.9 percent to 32.6 percent.

“Consumers’ assessment of the present situation continues to improve, with both business conditions and the job market rated more favorably. Looking ahead six months, consumers expect the economy and their earnings to improve, but were somewhat mixed regarding the outlook for jobs,” said Lynn Franco, director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board.

“All in all, confidence appears to be back on track and rising expectations suggest the economy may pick up some momentum in the months ahead,” Franco said.

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