U.S. Consumer Confidence in February Reaches High Not Seen in More Than 17 Years

consumers remain confident that the economy will continue expanding at a strong pace in the months ahead

U.S. Consumer Confidence Regains Some Ground in January Following December Decline
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February 28, 2018

Consumer confidence in the United States is at its highest level in more than 17 years.

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index reached a level of 130.8 in February—up from the 124.3 seen in January. This is the highest reading since November of 2000, when the Index hit 132.6.

How are consumers feeling?

The Conference Board reports that consumers' appraisal of present-day conditions improved in February. Consumers' assessment of business conditions was moderately more positive than in January. The percentage saying that business conditions are "good" increased slightly from 35.0 percent to 35.8 percent, while those saying that business conditions are "bad" decreased from 13.0 percent to 10.8 percent.

Labor Market

Consumers' assessment of the labor market was considerably more favorable in February. Those claiming that jobs are "plentiful" increased from 37.2 percent to 39.4 percent, while those claiming that jobs are "hard to get" decreased from 16.3 percent to 14.7 percent.

The Short-Term OUtlook

Consumers were also more optimistic about the short-term. The percentage of consumers anticipating business conditions will improve over the next six months increased from 21.5 percent to 25.8 percent, while those expecting business conditions will worsen decreased from 9.8 percent to 9.4 percent.

Job Prospects

Consumers' outlook for the job market was also more positive in February. Those expecting more jobs in the months ahead increased from 18.7 percent to 21.6 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs in the coming months declined from 12.5 percent to 11.9 percent.

Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board, says that, overall, consumers remain quite confident that the economy will continue expanding at a strong pace in the months ahead.

"Consumers' assessment of current conditions was more favorable this month, with the labor force the main driver," said Franco. "Despite the recent stock market volatility, consumers expressed greater optimism about short-term prospects for business and labor market conditions, as well as their financial prospects."

About the Consumer Confidence Survey

The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch.