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Consumer confidence dips in Feb.

NEW YORK – Feb. 23, 2016 – The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index declined in February after increasing modestly in January. The Index now stands at 92.2, down from 97.8 last month.
The Present Situation Index – a component of the total index – declined from 116.6 to 112.1, while the Expectations Index – a look at consumers’ expectations about future conditions – decreased from 85.3 to 78.9 in February.
“Consumers’ assessment of current conditions weakened, primarily due to a less favorable assessment of business conditions,” says Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ short-term outlook grew more pessimistic, with consumers expressing greater apprehension about business conditions, their personal financial situation, and to a lesser degree, labor market prospects.
“Continued turmoil in the financial markets may be rattling consumers, but their assessment of current conditions suggests the economy will continue to expand at a moderate pace in the near-term,” Franco adds.
Consumers’ assessment of present-day conditionsThe percentage saying business conditions are “good” decreased from 27.7 percent to 26.0 percent. Those saying business conditions are “bad” increased from 18.8 percent to 19.8 percent.
Consumers’ appraisal of the labor market was also less positive. Those claiming jobs are “plentiful” decreased from 23.0 percent to 22.1 percent, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” rose to 24.2 percent from 23.6 percent.
Consumers’ assessment of future conditionsThe percentage of consumers who expect business conditions to improve over the next six months declined from 15.9 percent to 14.6 percent, while those expecting business conditions to worsen increased from 10.7 percent to 12.0 percent.
Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was also less optimistic. Those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead decreased from 13.4 percent to 12.2 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs increased slightly from 17.0 percent to 17.2 percent.
The proportion of consumers who expect their incomes to increase declined from 18.6 percent to 17.2 percent, while the proportion expecting a reduction in income increased from 10.7 percent to 12.5 percent.
The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey is based on a probability-design random sample and conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a global provider of information and analytics.
© 2016 Florida Realtors®  
Source: Florida Realtors Feed

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