Thursday, December 27, 2012

USA Consumer Confidence Drops with Oncoming Fiscal Cliff

The Conference Board: Consumer Confidence Index

(The Conference Board) The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®, which had declined slightly in November, posted another decrease in December. The Index now stands at 65.1 (1985=100), down from 71.5 in November. The Expectations Index declined sharply to 66.5 from 80.9. The Present Situation Index increased to 62.8 from 57.4 last month.

Says Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board: “Consumers’ expectations retreated sharply in December resulting in a decline in the overall Index. The sudden turnaround in expectations was most likely caused by uncertainty surrounding the oncoming fiscal cliff. A similar decline in expectations was experienced in August of 2011 during the debt ceiling discussions. While consumers are quite negative about the short-term outlook, they are more upbeat than last month about current business and labor market conditions.”

Consumer Confidence Index by Month The Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) has reached a Post-Great Recession peak of 73.1 in October 2012. The Great Recession cyclical low was 25.3 in February 2009. The Pre-Great Recession peak was 111.9 in July 2007.

Consumer Confidence Index by Year For each year, the related months are averaged. The Great Recession low was in 2009 at a 45 average and the Post-Great Recession peak is now 2012 at a 5-year high of 67 (preliminary).


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