A Degree of Separation

Spurred by improved personal finances and a favorable outlook for employment, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index increased for the fourth consecutive month in November and reached its highest level since July 2007. However, the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index retreated in November, based on reduced optimism in business conditions and the job market.

UM & CB three month moving average 11 26 2014

The Consumer Sentiment Index increased to 88.8 in November from 86.9 in October and 75.1 during the same month a year ago. The survey reported gains in the share of younger and lower income households planning to increase purchases of large household durables.

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index decreased to 88.7 in November from 94.1 in October. Less optimism about the short-term outlook drove the Index lower.

While three month moving averages smooth momentary differences, it is noteworthy that the Surveys of Consumers chief economist, Richard Curtin, predicted that consumer spending is poised to make 2015 the best year for the US economy since 2005 – provided the President and Congress create an environment for robust confidence.



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