Consumer Confidence Unexpectedly Falls

Consumer confidence was supposed to rise to a 12-month high but instead fell in February, according to the latest data from the Conference Board.

  • M-O-M: The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index fell 102.9 in February, down from 106.0 in January and is now at the lowest level since November.
  • Y-O-Y: Consumer confidence is down 7.6 points from the same time last year.

Future Concerns. Concerns about the future economy pushed the index down for the month with the Expectations Index falling to 69.7 from a downwardly revised 76.0 in January. The Present Situation Index actually increased slightly to 152.8 in February.

Analysis. Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director, Economics at The Conference Board, said that the drop was because of older millennials and Genxers. “Consumer confidence declined again in February. The decrease reflected large drops in confidence for households aged 35 to 54 and for households earning $35,000 or more,”

  • Big Purchases: Ozyildirim noted that big-ticket items are getting postponed. “Fewer consumers are planning to purchase homes or autos and they also appear to be scaling back plans to buy major appliances. Vacation intentions also declined in February.”