News & Resources

Consumer confidence tumbles in January

Feb 04, 2012 Philip Burgess

Despite a string of good news related to job creation, manufacturing and construction, consumer confidence dipped in January, slowing the tide of optimism that had begun to trickle into U.S. markets. According to the Conference Board's latest Consumer Confidence index fell to 61.1 this month, down from 64.8 in December. The index had risen by more than 20 points from October of last year. Despite the decline, recent months' readings have been far below the threshold of 90 points that indicates a healthy economy. That level has not been reached since 2007. "Consumers' assessment of current business and labor market conditions turned more downbeat and is back to November 2011 levels," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. "[In the short-term], consumers are more upbeat about employment, but less optimistic about business conditions and their income prospects." Many economists had hoped 2012 to mark a significant uptick in economic activity. The latest research, however, suggest consumers may still be holding back on spending and credit decisions.