The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had declined in January, again fell – sharply, to a near-15-year low. In February the Index stands at 75.0 (1985=100), down from 87.3 in January, the Conference Board reported.
The Expectations Index declined to 57.9 from 69.3. The Present Situation Index decreased to 100.6 from 114.3 in January.
“The Consumer Confidence Index continues losing ground and, with the exception of the Iraqi War in 2003, is now at its lowest level in nearly 15 years (Nov. 1993, 71.9),” said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center.
“Consumers’ expectations have also deteriorated significantly and are now at a 17-year low (Jan. 1991, 55.3). With so few consumers expecting conditions to turn around in the months ahead, the outlook for the economy continues to worsen and the risk of a recession continues to increase,” she added.
Additional info released by the Conference Board:
- Consumers’ appraisal of present-day conditions weakened significantly in February. Those claiming business conditions are “bad” increased to 21.8% from 20.1%, while those claiming business conditions are “good” declined to 18.5% from 20.6%.
- Consumers’ assessment of the job market was considerably more pessimistic than last month. Those saying jobs are “hard to get” rose to 23.8% from 20.6%, while those claiming jobs are “plentiful” decreased to 20.6% from 23.8%.
- Consumers’ short-term expectations also deteriorated considerably in February. Consumers expecting business conditions to worsen over the next six months increased sharply to 21.4% from 16.3%, while those anticipating business conditions to improve declined to 9.5% from 11.5% in January
- The outlook for the labor market was also significantly more pessimistic. Those expecting fewer jobs in the months ahead surged to 27.9% from 21.9%, while those anticipating more jobs declined to 9.0% from 10.5%. The proportion of consumers expecting their incomes to increase declined to 17.0% from 18.1%.
About the data: The Consumer Confidence Survey is based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households. The monthly survey is conducted for The Conference Board by TNS.