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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Leading Economic Index for April 2024

The Conference Board® released its Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for April 2024 this morning:

==============

Index for April 2024: 101.8 (The baseline 100 score is associated with 2016 data.)

==============

Predicted: -0.4%

  • Actual: -0.59% (-0.6 point M/M)

  • Change from 12 Months Ago: -5.21% (-5.6 points)

==============

  • LEI for March 2024: 102.4

  • LEI for February 2024: 102.7
     
  • LEI for January 2024: 102.5

  • LEI for December 2023: 103.0

  • LEI for November 2023: 103.3

  • LEI for October 2023: 103.8

  • LEI for September 2023: 104.7

  • LEI for August 2023: 105.5

  • LEI for July 2023: 105.9

  • LEI for June 2023: 106.1

  • LEI for May 2023: 106.7

  • LEI for April 2023: 107.4

  • LEI for March 2023: 108.3

  • LEI for February 2023: 109.6

  • LEI for January 2023: 110.2

  • LEI for December 2022: 110.7

  • LEI for November 2022: 111.5

  • LEI for October 2022: 112.5

  • LEI for September 2022: 113.5

  • LEI for August 2022: 116.4

  • LEI for July 2022: 116.4

  • LEI for June 2022: 117.1

  • LEI for May 2022: 117.9

  • LEI for April 2022: 118.7

  • LEI for March 2022: 119.3

  • LEI for February 2022: 119.4

  • LEI for January 2022: 118.5

==============

The yellow-highlighted percentage is the month-to-month change for the index.  The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

The LEI is a composite of 10 of the nation's economic data releases that's put together by The Conference Board. Statistically, the components listed below have shown a significant increase or decrease before national economic upturns or downturns:

  1. The Standard + Poor's 500 Index

  2. Average weekly claims for unemployment insurance

  3. Building permits for new private housing

  4. The interest rate spread between the yield on the benchmark 10-Year Treasury Note and Federal Funds

  5. ISM® Index of New Orders

  6. Manufacturer's new orders for consumer goods or materials

  7. Manufacturers' new orders, non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft orders

  8. Average weekly manufacturing hours

  9. Average consumer expectations for business conditions

  10. Leading Credit Index™
==============

CHART: Leading Economic Index 6-Month Growth Rate with Warning + Recession Signals - April 2024 UPDATE

CHART: Leading Economic Index
6-Month Growth Rate
with Warning + Recession Signals
April 2024 UPDATE

==============
 
From Today's Report:

"...'Another decline in the U.S. LEI confirms that softer economic conditions lay ahead,' said Justyna Zabinska-La Monica, Senior Manager, Business Cycle Indicators, at The Conference Board. 'Deterioration in consumers’ outlook on business conditions, weaker new orders, a negative yield spread, and a drop in new building permits fueled April’s decline. In addition, stock prices contributed negatively for the first time since October of last year.
While the LEI’s six-month and annual growth rates no longer signal a forthcoming recession, they still point to serious headwinds to growth ahead. Indeed, elevated inflation, high interest rates, rising household debt, and depleted pandemic savings are all expected to continue weighing on the US economy in 2024. As a result, we project that real GDP growth will slow to under 1% over the Q2 to Q3 2024 period.'

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.S. rose by 0.2% in April 2024 to 112.3 (2016=100), after also increasing by 0.2% in March. As a result, the CEI was up 0.9% over the six-month period ending April 2024, slightly ahead of its 0.8% increase over the previous six months.

The CEI’s component indicators -- payroll employment, personal income less transfer payments, manufacturing and trade sales, and industrial production -- are included among the data used to determine recessions in the US. All four components of the index improved last month. Personal income less transfer payments made the largest positive contribution to the Index..."

==============
 

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Thursday, May 16, 2024

Consumer Price Index (CPI) for April 2024

Earlier this morning, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for April 2024:


=========================================

CPI During April 2024: 313.548

=========================================

Consumer Price Index, Headline

Predicted: +0.5%

->  Actual: +0.39% (+1.216 points) M/M

 > Year-on-Year Change: +3.36% (+10.185 points)


=========================================

Consumer Price Index, Minus Food + Energy (Core CPI)

Predicted: +0.5%

 - > Actual: +0.28% (+0.89 point) M/M

Year-on-Year Change: +3.61% (+11.079 points)


=========================================

The above, yellow-highlighted figures represent month-to-month change (not seasonally adjusted) in prices for a specific group of goods and services that consumers buy, and is, therefore, a very important part of the overall inflation picture for the country.

The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

General categories that constitute the CPI are:

  • Healthcare
  • Housing
  • Clothing
  • Communications
  • Education
  • Transportation
  • Food and Beverages
  • Recreation
  • Miscellaneous Goods and Services (grooming expenses, etc.)

========================================

CPI During April 2023: 303.363

========================================

CHART: Consumer Price Index 12-Month Percentage Change - APRIL 2024 Update
 CHART: Consumer Price Index
12-Month Percentage Change
APRIL 2024 Update

========================================

=========================================

 

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Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for April 2024

Consumer Confidence Index® (CCI) for this month (April) was released by The Conference Board® this morning:

================

Predicted: 99.0
  • Actual: 97.0

================

Previous Month (revised): 103.1

  • Change from Previous Month: -5.92% (-6.1 points)
================

The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

From Today's Report:

"...'Confidence retreated further in April, reaching its lowest level since July 2022 as consumers became less positive about the current labor market situation, and more concerned about future business conditions, job availability, and income,' said Dana M. Peterson, Chief Economist at The Conference Board. 'Despite April’s dip in the overall index, since mid-2022, optimism about the present situation continues to more than offset concerns about the future."

'In the month, confidence declined among consumers of all age groups and almost all 
income groups except for the $25,000 to $49,999 bracket. Nonetheless, consumers under 35 continued to express greater confidence than those over 35. In April, households with incomes below $25,000 and those with incomes above $75,000 reported the largest deteriorations in confidence. However, over a six-month basis, confidence for consumers earning less than $50,000 has been stable, but confidence among consumers earning more has weakened.'

Peterson added: 'According to April’s write-in responses, elevated price levels, especially for food and gas, dominated consumer’s concerns, with politics and global conflicts as distant runners-up. Average 12-month 
inflation expectations remained stable at 5.3% despite concerns about food and energy prices.
Consumers ’ Perceived Likelihood of a U.S. Recession over the Next 12 Months rose slightly in April but is still well below the May 2023 peak.'..."

Every month, The Conference Board sends a questionnaire to 5,000 U.S. households. Survey participants are polled about their feelings regarding the U.S. economy, current and future, and about their own fiscal circumstances. On average, 3,500 participants complete and return the 5-question survey.

  • The baseline "100" score for the CCI is associated with 1985 survey data.


When consumers feel good about the economy, they tend to do more spending, and vice versa.

Based in New York City, The Conference Board is a private, not-for-profit organization with a mission to, "create and disseminate knowledge about management and the marketplace to help businesses strengthen their performance and better serve society."

The CCI is usually released on the last Tuesday of the month.

================   

CHART: Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) - April 2024 Update
CHART: Consumer Confidence Index (CCI)
April 2024 Update

================

CHART: Reducing Spending to Save Money: Where Consumers Are Planning to Cut Back
CHART: Reducing Spending to Save Money:
Where Consumers Are Planning to Cut Back

================

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Sunday, April 28, 2024

PCE Price Index + Personal Income + Consumer Spending Report for March 2024

The Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its report on The PCE Price Index, Consumer Spending and Personal Income for March 2024:

=============

Consumer Spending (Personal Consumption Expenditures)

Previous Reading (unrevised): +0.8%
  • Actual: +0.8%
  • Actual: (2017 Chained* Dollars): +0.5%
=============

Personal Income

Previous Reading: (unrevised) +0.3%
  • Actual: +0.5%
=============

  • Disposable Personal Income, Current Dollars: +0.5%
  • Disposable Personal Income (2017 Chained* Dollars): +0.2%

=============

The above highlighted percentages represent the month-to-month change in Consumer Spending (aka Personal Consumption Expenditures), Personal Income and Disposable Personal Income for the entire United States.

=============

Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Price Index
Previous Reading: +0.3%
Actual: +0.3% 

  • Change from 12 months previous: +2.7%
=====================

Core PCE Price Index
( = PCE Price Index minus food and energy)
Previous Reading: +0.3%
Actual: +0.3%

  • Change from 12 months previous: +2.8%
=====================

The yellow-highlighted percentages represent the month-to-month change in the prices associated with domestic personal consumption.  The PCE Price Index is different from the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in that it is a very broad measure of the prices associated with domestic products and services, while the CPI measures a more limited fixed basket of goods and services.

The broad nature of the PCE Price Index is key to why it is the Federal Reserve's preferred measure of inflation.  The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) pays very close attention to it.

=====================

The "predicted" figures are what economists were expecting, while the "actual" figures are the true or real figure.

=====================

CHART: Disposable Personal Income,
Outlays + Savings - March 2024 Update


   =====================

*Chained dollars is a method of adjusting real dollar amounts for inflation over time, so as to allow comparison of figures from different years. The Commerce Department introduced the chained-dollar measure in 1996. Chained dollars generally reflect dollar figures computed with 2012 as the base year.

 

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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Leading Economic Index for March 2024

The Conference Board® released its Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for March 2024 this morning:

==============

Index for March 2024: 102.4 (The baseline 100 score is associated with 2016 data.)

==============

Predicted: -0.1%

  • Actual: -0.29% (-0.3 point M/M)

  • Change from 12 Months Ago: -5.45% (-5.9 points)

==============

  • LEI for February 2024: 102.7
     
  • LEI for January 2024: 102.5

  • LEI for December 2023: 103.0

  • LEI for November 2023: 103.2

  • LEI for October 2023: 103.8

  • LEI for September 2023: 104.7

  • LEI for August 2023: 105.5

  • LEI for July 2023: 105.9

  • LEI for June 2023: 106.1

  • LEI for May 2023: 106.7

  • LEI for April 2023: 107.4

  • LEI for March 2023: 108.3

  • LEI for February 2023: 109.6

  • LEI for January 2023: 110.2

  • LEI for December 2022: 110.7

  • LEI for November 2022: 111.5

  • LEI for October 2022: 112.5

  • LEI for September 2022: 113.5

  • LEI for August 2022: 116.4

  • LEI for July 2022: 116.4

  • LEI for June 2022: 117.1

  • LEI for May 2022: 117.9

  • LEI for April 2022: 118.7

  • LEI for March 2022: 119.3

  • LEI for February 2022: 119.4

  • LEI for January 2022: 118.5

==============

The yellow-highlighted percentage is the month-to-month change for the index.  The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

The LEI is a composite of 10 of the nation's economic data releases that's put together by The Conference Board. Statistically, the components listed below have shown a significant increase or decrease before national economic upturns or downturns:

  1. The Standard + Poor's 500 Index

  2. Average weekly claims for unemployment insurance

  3. Building permits for new private housing

  4. The interest rate spread between the yield on the benchmark 10-Year Treasury Note and Federal Funds

  5. ISM® Index of New Orders

  6. Manufacturer's new orders for consumer goods or materials

  7. Manufacturers' new orders, non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft orders

  8. Average weekly manufacturing hours

  9. Average consumer expectations for business conditions

  10. Leading Credit Index™
==============
 
CHART: Leading Economic Index 6-Month Growth Rate with Warning + Recession Signals - March 2024 UPDATE
CHART: Leading Economic Index
6-Month Growth Rate
with Warning + Recession Signals
March 2024 UPDATE

==============
 
From Today's Report:

"...'February’s uptick in the U.S. LEI proved to be ephemeral as the Index posted a decline in March,' said Justyna Zabinska-La Monica, Senior Manager, Business Cycle Indicators, at The Conference Board. 'Negative contributions from the yield spread, new building permits, consumers’ outlook on business conditions, new orders, and initial unemployment insurance claims drove March’s decline.

The LEI’s six-month and annual growth rates remain negative, but the pace of contraction has slowed. Overall, the Index points to a fragile -- even if not recessionary -- outlook for the U.S. economy. Indeed, rising consumer debt, elevated interest rates, and persistent inflation pressures continue to pose risks to economic activity in 2024.

The Conference Board forecasts GDP growth to cool after the rapid expansion in the second half of 2023. As consumer spending slows, US GDP growth is expected to moderate over Q2 and Q3 of this year.'..
."
==============
 

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Thursday, April 11, 2024

Consumer Price Index (CPI) for March 2024

Earlier this morning, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for March 2024:


=========================================

CPI During March 2024: 312.332

=========================================

Consumer Price Index, Headline

Predicted: +0.5%
Actual: +0.65% (+2.006 points)

  • Change From 12 Months Ago: +3.48% (+10.496 points)


=========================================

Consumer Price Index, Minus Food + Energy (Core CPI)

Predicted: +0.5%
Actual: +0.53% (+1.669 points)

Change From 12 Months Ago: +3.8% (+11.612 points)


=========================================

The above, yellow-highlighted figures represent month-to-month change (not seasonally adjusted) in prices for a specific group of goods and services that consumers buy, and is, therefore, a very important part of the overall inflation picture for the country.

The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

General categories that constitute the CPI are:

  • Healthcare
  • Housing
  • Clothing
  • Communications
  • Education
  • Transportation
  • Food and Beverages
  • Recreation
  • Miscellaneous Goods and Services (grooming expenses, etc.)

========================================

CPI During March 2023: 301.836

========================================

 
CHART: Consumer Price Index 12-Month Percentage Change - March 2024 Update

 CHART: Consumer Price Index
12-Month Percentage Change
March 2024 Update

========================================

=========================================

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Friday, March 29, 2024

PCE Price Index + Personal Income + Consumer Spending Report for February 2024

The Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its report on The PCE Price Index, Consumer Spending and Personal Income for February 2024:

=============

Consumer Spending (Personal Consumption Expenditures)

Previous Reading (unrevised): +0.2%
  • Actual: +0.8%
  • Actual: (2017 Chained* Dollars): +0.4%
=============

Personal Income

Previous Reading: (unrevised) +1.0%
  • Actual: +0.3%
=============

  • Disposable Personal Income, Current Dollars: +0.2%
  • Disposable Personal Income (2017 Chained* Dollars): -0.1%

=============

The above highlighted percentages represent the month-to-month change in Consumer Spending (aka Personal Consumption Expenditures), Personal Income and Disposable Personal Income for the entire United States.

=============

Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Price Index
Previous Reading: +0.4%
Actual: +0.3% 

  • Change from 12 months previous: +2.5%
=====================

Core PCE Price Index
( = PCE Price Index minus food and energy)
Previous Reading: +0.5%
Actual: +0.3%

  • Change from 12 months previous: +2.8%
=====================

The yellow-highlighted percentages represent the month-to-month change in the prices associated with domestic personal consumption.  The PCE Price Index is different from the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in that it is a very broad measure of the prices associated with domestic products and services, while the CPI measures a more limited fixed basket of goods and services.

The broad nature of the PCE Price Index is key to why it is the Federal Reserve's preferred measure of inflation.  The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) pays very close attention to it.

=====================

The "predicted" figures are what economists were expecting, while the "actual" figures are the true or real figure.

=====================

CHART: Disposable Personal Income, Outlays + Savings - February 2024 Update

CHART: Disposable Personal Income,
Outlays + Savings - February 2024 Update

   =====================

*Chained dollars is a method of adjusting real dollar amounts for inflation over time, so as to allow comparison of figures from different years. The Commerce Department introduced the chained-dollar measure in 1996. Chained dollars generally reflect dollar figures computed with 2012 as the base year.

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Friday, March 22, 2024

Leading Economic Index for February 2024

The Conference Board® released its Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for February 2024 this morning:

==============

Index for February 2024: 102.8 (The baseline 100 score is associated with 2016 data.)

==============

Predicted: -0.4%

  • Actual: +0.097% (+0.1 point M/M)

  • Change from 12 Months Ago: -6.2% (-6.8 points)

==============

  • LEI for January 2024: 102.7

  • LEI for December 2023: 103.1

  • LEI for November 2023: 103.3

  • LEI for October 2023: 103.8

  • LEI for September 2023: 104.7

  • LEI for August 2023: 105.5

  • LEI for July 2023: 105.9

  • LEI for June 2023: 106.1

  • LEI for May 2023: 106.7

  • LEI for April 2023: 107.4

  • LEI for March 2023: 108.3

  • LEI for February 2023: 109.6

  • LEI for January 2023: 110.2

  • LEI for December 2022: 110.7

  • LEI for November 2022: 111.5

  • LEI for October 2022: 112.5

  • LEI for September 2022: 113.5

  • LEI for August 2022: 116.4

  • LEI for July 2022: 116.4

  • LEI for June 2022: 117.1

  • LEI for May 2022: 117.9

  • LEI for April 2022: 118.7

  • LEI for March 2022: 119.3

  • LEI for February 2022: 119.4

  • LEI for January 2022: 118.5

==============

The yellow-highlighted percentage is the month-to-month change for the index.  The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

The LEI is a composite of 10 of the nation's economic data releases that's put together by The Conference Board. Statistically, the components listed below have shown a significant increase or decrease before national economic upturns or downturns:

  1. The Standard + Poor's 500 Index

  2. Average weekly claims for unemployment insurance

  3. Building permits for new private housing

  4. The interest rate spread between the yield on the benchmark 10-Year Treasury Note and Federal Funds

  5. ISM® Index of New Orders

  6. Manufacturer's new orders for consumer goods or materials

  7. Manufacturers' new orders, non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft orders

  8. Average weekly manufacturing hours

  9. Average consumer expectations for business conditions

  10. Leading Credit Index™

==============
 
CHART: Leading Economic Index 6-Month Growth Rate with Warning + Recession Signals - February 2024 UPDATE
CHART: Leading Economic Index
6-Month Growth Rate
with Warning + Recession Signals
February 2024 UPDATE
==============
 
From Today's Report:

"...The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. increased by 0.1% in February 2024 to 102.8 (2016=100), following a 0.4% decline in January. Over the six-month period between August 2023 and February 2024, the LEI contracted by 2.6% -- a smaller decrease than the 3.8% decline over the previous six months.

'The U.S. LEI rose in February 2024 for the first time since February 2022,' said Justyna Zabinska-La Monica, Senior Manager, Business Cycle Indicators, at The Conference Board. 'Strength in weekly hours worked in manufacturing, stock prices, the Leading Credit Index™, and residential construction drove the LEI’s first monthly increase in two years.

However, consumers’ expectations and the ISM® Index of New Orders have yet to recover, and the six- and twelve-month growth rates of the LEI remain negative. Despite February’s increase, the Index still suggests some headwinds to growth going forward.

The Conference Board expects annualized US GDP growth to slow over the Q2 to Q3 2024 period, as rising consumer debt and elevated interest rates weigh on consumer spending.'

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.S. rose by 0.2% in February 2024 to 112.3 (2016 = 100), after a 0.1% increase in January. The CEI rose 1.1% over the six-month period ending February 2024, up from 0.8% over the previous six months.

The CEI’s component indicators -- payroll employment, personal income less transfer payments, manufacturing and trade sales, and industrial production -- are included among the data used to determine recessions in the US. All four components of the index were positive last month, with personal income less transfer payments and payroll employment having the strongest contributions to the Index..."
==============
 

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Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Consumer Price Index (CPI) for February 2024

Earlier this morning, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for February 2024:


=========================================

CPI During February 2024: 310.326

=========================================

Consumer Price Index, Headline

Predicted: +0.5%
Actual: +0.62% (+1.909 points)

  • Change From 12 Months Ago: +3.15% (+9.486 points)


=========================================

Consumer Price Index, Minus Food + Energy (Core CPI)

Predicted: +0.5%
Actual: +0.57% (+1.796 points)

Change From 12 Months Ago: +3.75% (+11.408 points)


=========================================

The above, yellow-highlighted figures represent month-to-month change (not seasonally adjusted) in prices for a specific group of goods and services that consumers buy, and is, therefore, a very important part of the overall inflation picture for the country.

The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

General categories that constitute the CPI are:

  • Healthcare
  • Housing
  • Clothing
  • Communications
  • Education
  • Transportation
  • Food and Beverages
  • Recreation
  • Miscellaneous Goods and Services (grooming expenses, etc.)

========================================

CPI During February 2023: 300.840

========================================

 
CHART: Consumer Price Index 12-Month Percentage Change - February 2024 Update
CHART: Consumer Price Index
12-Month Percentage Change
February 2024 Update

========================================

=========================================

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Thursday, February 29, 2024

PCE Price Index + Personal Income + Consumer Spending Report for January 2024

The Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its report on The PCE Price Index, Consumer Spending and Personal Income for January 2024:

=============

Consumer Spending (Personal Consumption Expenditures)

Previous Reading (unrevised): +0.7%
  • Actual: +0.2%
  • Actual: (2017 Chained* Dollars): -0.1%
=============

Personal Income

Previous Reading: (unrevised) +0.3%
  • Actual: +1.0%
=============

  • Disposable Personal Income, Current Dollars: +0.3%
  • Disposable Personal Income (2017 Chained* Dollars): FLAT

=============

The above highlighted percentages represent the month-to-month change in Consumer Spending (aka Personal Consumption Expenditures), Personal Income and Disposable Personal Income for the entire United States.

=============

Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Price Index
Previous Reading: +0.1%
Actual: +0.3% 

  • Change from 12 months previous: +2.4%
=====================

Core PCE Price Index
( = PCE Price Index minus food and energy)
Previous Reading: +0.1%
Actual: +0.4%

  • Change from 12 months previous: +2.8%
=====================

The yellow-highlighted percentages represent the month-to-month change in the prices associated with domestic personal consumption.  The PCE Price Index is different from the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in that it is a very broad measure of the prices associated with domestic products and services, while the CPI measures a more limited fixed basket of goods and services.

The broad nature of the PCE Price Index is key to why it is the Federal Reserve's preferred measure of inflation.  The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) pays very close attention to it.

=====================

The "predicted" figures are what economists were expecting, while the "actual" figures are the true or real figure.

=====================

CHART: Disposable Personal Income, Outlays + Savings - January 2024 Update
CHART: Disposable Personal Income,
Outlays + Savings - January 2024 Update

   =====================

*Chained dollars is a method of adjusting real dollar amounts for inflation over time, so as to allow comparison of figures from different years. The Commerce Department introduced the chained-dollar measure in 1996. Chained dollars generally reflect dollar figures computed with 2012 as the base year.

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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for February 2024

Consumer Confidence Index® (CCI) for this month (February) was released by The Conference Board® this morning:

================

Predicted: 112.0
  • Actual: 106.7

================

Previous Month (revised): 110.9

  • Change from Previous Month: -3.79% (-4.2 points)
================

The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

From Today's Report:

"...The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® fell in February to 106.7 (1985 = 100), down from a revised 110.9 in January. February’s decline in the Index occurred after three consecutive months of gains. However, as January was revised downward from the preliminary reading of 114.8, the data now suggest that there was not a material breakout to the upside in confidence at the start of 2024.

The Present Situation Index -- based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions
-- fell back to 147.2 (1985 = 100) in February from 154.9 in January. The Expectations Index -- based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions -- slipped to 79.8 (1985 = 100), down from a revised 81.5 in January. An Expectations Index reading below 80 often signals recession ahead.

'The decline in consumer confidence in February interrupted a three-month rise, reflecting persistent uncertainty about the US economy,' said Dana Peterson, Chief Economist at The Conference Board. 'The drop in confidence was broad-based, affecting all income groups except households earning less than $15,000 and those earning more than $125,000. Confidence deteriorated for consumers under the age of 35 and those 55 and over, whereas it improved slightly for those aged 35 to 54.'

Peterson added: 'February’s write-in responses revealed that while overall inflation remained the main preoccupation of consumers, they are now a bit less concerned about food and gas prices, which have eased in recent months. But they are more concerned about the labor market situation and the US political environment.'

Assessments of the present situation weakened in February, as consumers’ views of both business conditions and the employment situation became less favorable. Furthermore, consumers’ assessments of their personal financial situation (a measure not included in calculating the Present Situation Index) also weakened.

Consumer expectations for the next six months deteriorated in February, driven by renewed pessimism regarding future business and labor market conditions. Consumers were also a bit less optimistic about their family financial situation over the next six months (a measure not included in calculating the Expectations Index). Additionally, consumers’ Perceived Likelihood of a US Recession over the Next 12 Months picked back up after falling over the previous three months.

On a six-month basis, buying plans for autos, homes, and big-ticket appliances dipped slightly. The share of consumers planning a vacation over the next six months also declined. Expectations that interest rates will rise over the year ahead picked up slightly to 42.7%, which may have influenced buying plans. Meanwhile, consumers remained upbeat about stock prices over the year ahead.

Average 12-month inflation expectations ticked down further to 5.2% in February. After peaking at 7.9% in mid-2022, expected
inflation has now fallen to its lowest level since March 2020, when it stood at 4.5%. This aligns with continued slowing in consumer price inflation in government reports and fewer complaints about food and energy prices in our survey.

Present Situation

Consumers’ assessment of current business conditions fell slightly in February.

    21.2% of consumers said business conditions were 'good,' down slightly from 21.3% in January.
    17.1% said business conditions were 'bad,' up from 15.3%.

Consumers’ appraisal of the labor market was also less positive in February.

    41.3% of consumers said jobs were 'plentiful,' down from 42.7% in January.

    13.5% of consumers said jobs were 'hard to get,' up from 11.0%.

Expectations Six Months Hence          

Consumers were, on balance, more pessimistic about the short-term business conditions outlook in February.

    14.8% of consumers expect business conditions to improve, down from 16.7% in January.
    15.5% expect business conditions to worsen, down from 16.0%.

Consumers’ assessment of the short-term labor market outlook was more pessimistic in February.

    14.7% of consumers expect more jobs to be available, down from 15.6% in January.
    17.3% anticipate fewer jobs, up from 16.7%.

Consumers’ assessment of their short-term income prospects was, on balance, more optimistic in February.

    16.9% of consumers expect their incomes to increase, down from 17.1% in January.
    11.3% expect their incomes to decrease, down from 12.5%.

Assessment of Family Finances and Recession Risk

    Consumers’ assessment of their Family’s Current Financial Situation was less positive in February.

    Consumers were a bit less optimistic about their Family’s Financial Situation going forward.

    Consumers’ Perceived Likelihood of a US Recession over the Next 12 Months ticked up in February.

    Consumers’ assessment of their Family’s Current Financial Situation was less positive in February.

    Consumers were a bit less optimistic about their Family’s Financial Situation going forward.

    Consumers’ Perceived Likelihood of a US Recession over the Next 12 Months ticked up in February.
.."

Every month, The Conference Board sends a questionnaire to 5,000 U.S. households. Survey participants are polled about their feelings regarding the U.S. economy, current and future, and about their own fiscal circumstances. On average, 3,500 participants complete and return the 5-question survey.

  • The baseline "100" score for the CCI is associated with 1985 survey data.


When consumers feel good about the economy, they tend to do more spending, and vice versa.

Based in New York City, The Conference Board is a private, not-for-profit organization with a mission to, "create and disseminate knowledge about management and the marketplace to help businesses strengthen their performance and better serve society."

The CCI is usually released on the last Tuesday of the month.

================   

CHART: Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) - February 2024 Update
CHART: Consumer Confidence Index (CCI)
February 2024 Update

================

CHART: Perceived Likelihood of A Recession Over The Next 12 Months - FEBRUARY 2024 UPDATE

CHART: Perceived Likelihood of A Recession
Over The Next 12 Months
 FEBRUARY 2024 UPDATE

================

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