Consumer Confidence Heads Higher

Consumers are increasingly confident in 2014, according to The Conference Board's January Consumer Confidence Index released today. 

After clocking in at a revised 77.5 the previous month, the index added 3.2 points to reach 80.7 for January. Analysts had expected a smaller rise to a flat 79. The index uses 1985 as its 100-point benchmark.

"Consumer confidence advanced in January for the second consecutive month," said Conference Board Director of Economic Indicators Lynn Franco in a statement today. "Consumers' assessment of the present situation continues to improve, with both business conditions and the job market rated more favorably. Looking ahead six months, consumers expect the economy and their earnings to improve, but were somewhat mixed regarding the outlook for jobs. All in all, confidence appears to be back on track and rising expectations suggest the economy may pick up some momentum in the months ahead."

The index is comprised of responses from a random sample of consumers. In this latest report, those stating that business conditions are "good" increased 1.3 percentage points to 21.5%, putting the result close to the 22.8% of respondents who cited conditions as "bad." 

Looking ahead, things appear even better. Of those surveyed, 17.4% expect business conditions to improve over the next six months, compared to just 12.1% anticipating tougher times. 

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