Consumer Confidence in the Economy at Four-Year High

Consumer confidence index on the rise Credit: Wikimedia.org[/caption]

When we discuss the economy plenty of numbers are thrown around to support or rebut positions or forecasts. One number, the Consumer Confidence Index, is particularly interesting as it is designed to measure consumer optimism related to the state of the economy in the short and long-term.

Unlike job reports or the GDP, the Consumer Confidence Index is more public sentiment than hard numbers. Today’s report shows consumer confidence among Americans at a four-year high, 72.2 percent.

Consumers pointed to economic indicators to explain their confidence in the economy. Among the reasons for optimism were: the sense of plentiful available jobs, lower gas prices, and a housing recovery. The number of respondents who felt that jobs were plentiful is also at a four year high. The housing recovery correlates to a 2 percent rise in home prices from one year ago.

Observers are also optimistic about the state of the economy and the director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, Lynn Franco, stated,

“Consumers were considerably more positive in their assessment of current conditions, with improvements in the job market as the major driver. Consumers were modestly more upbeat about their financial situation and the short-term economic outlook, and appear to be in better spirits approaching the holiday season.”

Improving consumer confidence also corresponds to dips in new unemployment claims and improving payroll additions during the month of October, according to ADP Research.

Rising optimism and economic indicators could play into the outcome of the election next week if Americans draw a correlation between a better economy and the policies which created the trend.

The Consumer Confidence Index is published by The Conference Board. The Conference Board is a research organization that gauges public sentiment as a means for businesses to improve their services.