The Strategist

US February’s consumer confidence index grows weaker than expected

02/19/2024 - 02:13

According to a preliminary estimate from the University of Michigan, which releases the indicator, the US consumer confidence index increased to 79.6 points in February, the highest level since July 2021, from 79 points in the previous month.

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According to Trading Economics, the consensus estimate of analysts projected for a gain to 80 points.

The reading in February of previous year was 67 points.

The indicator of consumer expectations for the next six months grew to 78.4 points from 77.1 points, also resuming the highest since July 2021. The sub-index of American consumers' attitude toward the current financial condition decreased to 81.5 points this month from 81.9 points a month earlier.

The public's three-year inflation forecasts increased to 3% this month from a three-year low of 2.9% in January, but the long-term (5-year) inflation estimate stayed at 2.9%.

"Consumers expressed renewed confidence that labor markets will remain strong and inflation will continue to slow," said Joan Xu, director of consumer surveys at the University of Michigan.

The final February consumer confidence index will be made public on March 1st.