View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Consumer Confidence Rebounds

The Consumer Confidence Index of the Conference Board rose to 96.8 in January, from December's 91.7. Other numbers also look good:

The present-situations index rose to 80 from 74.3, while the expectations index climbed to 108.1 from 103.3.

On the job front, those respondents who said they are anticipating more jobs will become available in the next six months increased to 22.2% from 21.6%. And those expecting fewer positions to become available decreased to 14.9% from 16.9%. But the proportion of consumers anticipating an increase in their incomes dropped to 18.9% from 21.5%.

So people see their personal situations doing better, although they're still reluctant to breathe a little easier and take heart from their neighbors' improved sentiments. This seems to happen a lot, until there's a crystallization of opinion. For instance, in the 1992 elections cited on Powerline last week, even as Bush I's re-elect numbers and job-approval ratings were quite poor, in the low 40s, people still believed overwhelminly that he would be re-elected.

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