The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had declined in January, rebounded in February. The Index now stands at 69.6, up from 58.4 in January. The Present Situation Index increased to 63.3 from 56.2. The Expectations Index improved to 73.8 from 59.9 last month.
The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey, based on a random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch. The cut-off date for the preliminary results was February 14, 2013.
Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board says that "Consumer Confidence rebounded in February as the shock effect caused by the fiscal cliff uncertainty and payroll tax cuts appears to have abated."
Consumers' assessment of present day conditions improved in February. Those claiming business conditions are "good" rose to 18.1 percent from 16.1 percent, while those stating business conditions are "bad" decreased to 27.8 percent from 28.4 percent. Consumers' appraisal of the labor market was mixed. Those saying jobs are "plentiful" increased to 10.5 percent from 8.5 percent, while those claiming jobs are "hard to get" edged up to 37.0 percent from 36.6 percent.
Consumers were more optimistic about the short-term outlook in February. Those expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months increased to 18.9 percent from 15.6 percent, while those expecting business conditions to worsen declined to 16.5 percent from 20.4 percent.
Consumers' outlook for the labor market was also more positive. Those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead improved to 16.7 percent from 14.4 percent, while those expecting fewer jobs decreased to 21.5 percent from 26.7 percent.