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Tag Archives: Consumer spending

Consumer Sentiment Index Dips in January

The Surveys of Consumers' Index of Consumer Sentiment, released jointly by Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan's Survey Research Center, dropped to 81.2 this month from December's 82.5. The monthly decline stands in contrast to the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index, which rose for the second straight month in the group's most recent report. The measure of sentiment about current conditions fell slightly to 96.8, while the expectations index was down to 71.2.

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GDP Advances 3.2% in Q4

The nation's economy continued to grow in the fourth quarter, helped along by improvements in consumer spending and business investment. In its "advance" estimate of real gross domestic product (GDP) last quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) put growth at an estimated annual rate of 3.2 percent. Last quarter's increase was driven mostly by positive contributions from personal consumer expenditures, nonresidential fixed investment, and exports.

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Consumer Confidence Continues to Improve

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index increased again in January, continuing December's rebound from months of declines. According to the group, the index rose 3.2 points to a reading of 80.7 in January. December's original reading was revised down from the originally reported 78.1 to 77.5. January's increase puts the index just above the 80.2 reading reported before the government shutdown in October. "All in all, confidence appears to be back on track," said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board.

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Consumer Sentiment Outpaces Expectations in Preliminary Report

The University of Michigan/Thomson Reuters Index of Consumer Sentiment climbed to a five-month high of 82.5 in a preliminary report, increasing more than seven points over November's final reading and beating a consensus forecast of 75.5. Both of the components measuring confidence in current and future conditions increased. The Current Conditions Index rose to its own five-month high of 97.9 from November's 88.0, while the expectations index increased to a four-month peak of 72.7 from 66.8.

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Increasing Housing Permits Indicate Stability

Growing amounts of housing permits, improving home prices, and positive job numbers are leading to a stabilized housing market according to analysts. Recent studies revealed that markets in 54 out of the approximately 350 metro areas nationwide returned to or exceeded their last normal levels of economic and housing activity, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/First American Leading Markets Index (LMI). However, policymakers still need to watch their footing.

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Consumer Sentiment Rebounds as Stagnant Outlook Emerges

The Index of Consumer Sentiment, a joint measure tracked by the University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters, rose to 75.1 for the final November tally, making up some of the ground lost in October, when it dropped to 73.2. Last year, the index was measured at 82.7. While November's improvement made up somewhat for October's shutdown-related losses, consumers still feel stung by the government's economic debate. Spontaneous negative references to the government's economic policies were made by 32 percent of Americans in November.

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Consumer Confidence Still Shaky in Month After Shutdown

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index dropped two points to 70.4 in the most recent reading, the company reported. The decline follows a more substantial decrease in October stemming from the partial federal government shutdown. "Sentiment regarding current conditions was mixed, with consumers saying the job market had strengthened, while economic conditions had slowed," explained Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board. "However, these sentiments did not carry over into the short-term outlook."

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First Estimate of Third-Quarter GDP Growth Beats Expectations

The nation's economy performed well above expectations in the third quarter, according to an advance GDP estimate released Thursday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). BEA's report shows third-quarter growth rose to an annual rate of 2.8 percent, beating the second quarter's 2.5 percent. The median forecast among economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 2.0 percent growth. Real residential fixed investment, a measure of housing's contribution to the economy, increased 14.6 percent.

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