2011 Economic Calendar
Hard-Copy CalendarsPDA & Outlook Tools
POWERED BY  econoday logo
Event Definitions   |   Today's Calendar

Consumer Confidence
Released On 3/29/2011 10:00:00 AM For Mar, 2011
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Consumer Confidence - Level70.4 63.8 64.0 55.0  to 70.0 63.4 

Highlights
A surge in inflation expectations, to 6.7 percent one-year out from February's 5.6 percent, headlines a disappointing Conference Board report for March that confirms significant deterioration underway in consumer confidence. High food and especially high gas prices are behind the heightened inflation expectations which are eroding consumer confidence in their income. Those seeing their income falling over the next six months now equal those seeing an increase, a shift lower from three prior months when optimists had outnumbered pessimists.

The assessment of the jobs market is also deteriorating in what contrasts with this month's tangible improvement in jobless claims. Those saying jobs are currently hard to get rose two tenths to 44.6 percent. For the six-month view on jobs, pessimists are once again outnumbering optimists.

The Conference Board's composite index fell back more than 8-1/2 points to 63.4, erasing two months of improvement. February's index was revised more than 1-1/2 points higher to 72.0 but February is definitely old news. Ongoing uncertainties in Libya and the Middle East continue to pressure oil prices and are beginning to make consumers nervous. This time last month, there was talk about consumer resilience and the chance that this index could move to an 80 reading, one consistent with optimism. Talk now may swing in the other direction, especially if non-core consumer prices continue to rise.

Recent History Of This Indicator
The Conference Board's consumer confidence index rose to 70.4 in February for the best reading in three years. January was revised more than four points higher to 64.8. Most of the improvement was related to a better assessment of the jobs market. Fewer consumers in February said jobs are hard to get, at 45.7 percent, compared to January's 47.0 percent. Also, improvement was especially striking in the assessment of future income which before this report had been in unprecedented inversion, that is more saw their income decreasing than increasing. In the latest report 17.3 percent saw their income improving versus 13.8 percent seeing a decrease. But higher gasoline and food prices likely will weigh on confidence in March.

Definition
The Conference Board compiles a survey of consumer attitudes on the economy. The headline Consumer Confidence Index is based on consumers' perceptions of current business and employment conditions, as well as their expectations for six months hence regarding business conditions, employment, and income. Three thousand households across the country are surveyed each month. In general, while the level of consumer confidence is associated with consumer spending, the two do not move in tandem each and every month.  Why Investors Care
 
[Chart]
Typically retail sales will move in tandem with consumer optimism - although not necessarily each and every month.
Data Source: Haver Analytics
 

 

2011 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/252/223/294/265/316/287/268/309/2710/2511/2912/27
Release For: JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
 


powered by  [Econoday]