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Consumer confidence slips again in February

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index decreased in February for the second consecutive month. The Index now stands at 102.9 (1985=100), down from 106.0 in January (a downward revision). The Present Situation Index—based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions—increased to 152.8 (1985=100) from 151.1 last month. The Associated Press has the story:

Consumer confidence slips again in February

Newslooks- WASHINGTON (AP)

Consumers confidence dipped for the second straight month as stubborn inflation and anxiety over a potentially slowing economy weighed on Americans.

The Conference Board reported Tuesday that its consumer confidence index slipped to 102.9 in February, from a reading of 106 in January.

The business research group’s present situation index — which measures consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions — ticked up to 152.8 from 151.1 last month.

The board’s expectations index — a measure of consumers’ six-month outlook for income, business and labor conditions — tumbled to 69.7 in February from 76 in January. A reading under 80 often signals a recession in the coming year, the Conference Board said.

Shoppers look at products at an Apple store in Pittsburgh on Monday, Jan. 30, 2023. On Tuesday, the Conference Board reports on U.S. consumer confidence for February. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

American consumers felt much worse about the US economy in February amid rising interest rates and concerns about a potential recession, according to the latest survey data released Tuesday by the Conference Board.

The business research group’s consumer confidence index fell to 102.9 in February from a downwardly revised 106 the month before.

Economists were expecting the headline index to measure 108.5, according to Refinitiv consensus estimates.

The Conference Board’s confidence index and the University of Michigan’s twice-a-month consumer sentiment index are two leading gauges of consumers’ attitudes toward the current and future strength of the economy.

Although the two indexes typically track similarly over time, the consumer confidence index is more influenced by employment and labor market conditions, while the Michigan sentiment index has a greater emphasis on household finances and the impact of inflation.

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