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December 23, 2021

Consumer Confidence Continues Rise in December

By: Mike Duff

Contributing Editor

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index gained in December after an upward revision in November.

The Index now stands at 115.8, up from the revised 111.9 figure for November, the Conference Board stated, with a rating over 100 considered a positive sentiment for the economy.

The Present Situation Index, based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions, came in relatively flat at 144.1, down from 144.4 last month. The Expectations Index, based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business and labor market conditions, rose to 96.9 from 90.2.

In their appraisal of the Present Situation, 19.9% of consumers said business conditions were good, up from 17.9%, while 26.8% of consumers said business conditions were bad, down from 27.3%. 

As they looked ahead over the next six months, 26.7% of consumers said they expect business conditions to improve, up from 25.6%, while 17.9% expect business conditions to worsen, down from 19.6%.

Consumer confidence improved further in December, following a very modest gain in November,” said Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “The Present Situation Index dipped slightly but remains very high, suggesting the economy has maintained its momentum in the final month of 2021. Expectations about short-term growth prospects improved, setting the stage for continued growth in early 2022. The proportion of consumers planning to purchase homes, automobiles, major appliances, and vacations over the next six months all increased.

“Meanwhile, concerns about inflation declined after hitting a 13-year high last month as did concerns about COVID-19 despite reports of continued price increases and the emergence of the Omicron variant. Looking ahead to 2022, both confidence and consumer spending will continue to face headwinds from rising prices and an expected winter surge of the pandemic.”

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