The Consumer Confidence Index, reported by the Conference Board, ebbed in February.
The Consumer Confidence Index declined to 92.2 in February, from 97.9 in January. After a modest increase in January, both the present situation index and the expectations index decreased in February. The present situation index in February decreased to 112.1, from 116.7 in January; the expectations index dropped to 78.9 in February, from 85.3 in January.
In February, consumers were more pessimistic about the current condition and the short-term outlook than in January. In February, 19.8% of respondents reported that the present business conditions were “bad”, an increase from 18.8% in January. Also, the share of respondents expecting business conditions to worsen over the next six months increased by 1.3%, to 12.0% in February.
The Conference Board also reported the shares of respondents planning to buy a home within six months. The share of respondents planning to buy a lived-in home within six months dropped to 2.5 % in February, from 3.7% in January. The share of respondents planning to buy a new home within six months declined to 1.1% in February, from 1.2% in January.
Overall, despite the monthly volatility, the trends in the shares of respondents planning to buy a new home and the shares of respondents planning to buy a lived-in home within six months are climbing up from the trough and consumer confidence remains at a relatively high level by historical standards.