NEW YORK—After falling off in December, the consumer confidence index picked up 7.3 points in January to finish at 60.6.
According to The Conference Board, which provides the monthly indicator, the index got boosts from both of its components, present situation and expectations. The present-situation index increased 6.1 points to 31.0, and the expectations index was 80.3, up eight points from December.
Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board’s Consumer Research Center, noted that the overall indicator is at its highest level since last May, when it totaled 62.7. “Consumers have begun the year in better spirits,” Franco said. “Consumers…expressed greater confidence that the economy will continue to expand and generate more jobs in the months ahead.”
Underscoring Franco’s comments, consumers surveyed by The Conference Board showed more optimistic appraisals of the months ahead in business conditions, the availability of jobs and their incomes—with the percentages of those expecting better times ahead in all three of these areas rising. Their assessment of current conditions in the areas of business conditions and jobs also improved.