Surveys

Consumer Confidence in January Highest Since End of 2021

SurveysFeb 01, 2024

Consumer Confidence in January Highest Since End of 2021

The Conference Board attributed the upbeat results to slowing inflation and the anticipation of lower interest rates.

Shoppers outside in winter weather
The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index rose to 114.8 in January—its highest level since December 2021—from a downwardly revised 108.0 in December 2023.
New York—U.S. consumer confidence climbed in January, reaching its highest level since December 2021 and marking the third consecutive monthly increase. 

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index rose to 114.8 in January from a downwardly revised 108.0 in December.  

“January’s increase in consumer confidence likely reflected slower inflation, anticipation of lower interest rates ahead, and generally favorable employment conditions as companies continue to hoard labor,” said Dana Peterson, chief economist at The Conference Board. 

The gain was seen across all age groups, but largest for consumers 55 and over, said Peterson. 

Confidence improved for all income groups except those at the top. Households earnings $125,000 or more saw a slight decline. 

Consumers are still concerned about rising prices, according to write-in responses, but inflation expectations fell to a three-year low.  

However, plans to make big purchases were down. On a month-to-month and six-month basis, buying plans for autos, homes, and big-ticket appliances were down in all three categories. 

Respondents continued to favorably rate their income and personal finances over the next six months. 

As for a recession, its “Consumers’ Perceived Likelihood of a US Recession over the Next 12 Months” metric “gradually eased” in January, The Conference Board said. 

The Present Situation Index, which measures consumers’ current view of business and labor market conditions, soared to 161.3 from 147.2 in December. 

Peterson attributed the climb to more positive views of business conditions and employment. 

When asked to assess their current family financial conditions (a measure not included in calculating the Present Situation Index), more people said “good” and fewer people said “bad.” 

“This suggests consumers are starting off the year in good spirits about their current finances,” said Peterson. 

Consumers’ view of current business conditions was more positive in January, with the percentage of respondents who said current business conditions are “good” up to 23 percent from 21 percent, while those who said conditions are “bad” decreased to 14 percent from 17 percent.  

Consumers also had a positive view of the current labor market.  

The percentage of respondents who felt jobs were plentiful was up to 46 percent in January from 40 percent, while 10 percent said jobs were “hard to get,” down from 13 percent. 
 
 Related stories will be right here … 

The Expectations Index, which measures consumers’ outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions in the near future, rose to 83.8 from the downwardly revised 81.9 in December. 

The index went up due to “receding pessimism around future business conditions, labor market, and income prospects,” said Peterson. 

Expectations that interest rates will rise in the year ahead “plummeted,” said the organization. 

The average 12-month inflation expectations fell to 5.2 percent, the lowest since March 2020 (4.5 percent). 

The number of consumers that expect stock prices to be higher in the year ahead was down slightly after a December surge but remained near three-year highs. 

Looking at short-term business conditions, respondents’ outlooks were more pessimistic, with 17 percent of respondents expecting business conditions to improve, down from 19 percent in December, while 16 percent expected them to worsen, down from 18 percent. 

Consumers’ assessment of the short-term labor market outlook in December was mixed. 

The percentage of respondents who expect more jobs to be available was down to 16 percent from 18 percent in December, while 15 percent expect fewer jobs to be available, down from 18 percent. 

Consumers’ short-term income expectations were also mixed. 

Fewer respondents expect to see their incomes increase (16 percent in January versus 18 percent in December) while 12 percent expect their incomes to decrease, down from 14 percent in December. 

The Conference Board recently added a set of questions to its monthly survey, asking consumers how they felt about their family finances. 

In January, consumers’ views of their families’ current financial situation were more positive while views of the six-month situation remained optimistic. 

The Latest

Ella Klein internship
SourcingJun 21, 2024
Julius Klein Partners With WJA on New Internship

The Ella Klein Internship will take place in New York this summer.

Zadok Jewelers Texas Collection
CollectionsJun 21, 2024
Say Howdy to Zadok Jewelers’ New Texas Collection

Cowboy boots, horseshoes, and longhorn motifs make an appearance in the Houston-based jeweler’s new line.

Eriness’ Snake Coil Necklace
CollectionsJun 21, 2024
Piece of the Week: Eriness’ ‘Snake Coil’ Necklace

Join Eriness’ garden party with this emerald-eyed snake.

Untitled design.jpg
Brought to you by
The End of an Era? Lab-Grown Diamonds' Journey Towards Price Stability

As the demand for lab-grown diamond jewelry may still be increasing, the most notable change we are likely to see is price stabilization.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration hurricane satellite image
Policies & IssuesJun 20, 2024
5 Safety and Preparedness Tips for Jewelers This Hurricane Season

Jewelers Mutual is advising jewelers along the coast to prepare for above-normal hurricane activity this year.

Weekly QuizJun 20, 2024
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge by answering these questions.
Take the Quiz
JVC’s Sara Yood and Tiffany Stevens
MajorsJun 20, 2024
Sara Yood Appointed JVC CEO As Tiffany Stevens Moves On

The leadership change at the organization charged with guiding the industry on legal issues will take effect next week.

Precious: The History and Mystery of Gems Across Time
SourcingJun 20, 2024
Jewelry Expert Helen Molesworth to Release First Book

“Precious: The History and Mystery of Gems Across Time” will be available on Sept. 17.

1872 x 1052 Gemolite.jpg
Brought to you by
Meet Gemology’s Next Generation Microscope: GIA® Gemolite® NXT Professional Edition

GIA®’s most advanced microscope has new features to optimize greater precision and comfort.

Claire’s interim CEO Chris Cramer
MajorsJun 20, 2024
Claire’s CEO Ryan Vero Steps Down

Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer Chris Cramer has been named interim CEO.

Jewelers of America advocacy trip DC 2024
Policies & IssuesJun 18, 2024
JA, Industry Leaders Take Russian Diamond Import Concerns to D.C.

The group met with lawmakers to raise awareness about the financial, operational, and supply chain harms posed by an EU proposal.

Louis Comfort Tiffany 1900 gold and opal necklace
Events & AwardsJun 18, 2024
Driehaus Museum Displaying Rare Jewels From Chicago Collections

The museum also will host jewelry heist-themed movie nights throughout the run of “Chicago Collects: Jewelry in Perspective.”

Models wearing Pomellato’s “The Dualism of Milan” collection
CollectionsJun 18, 2024
Pomellato’s New High Jewelry Collection Celebrates Milan

“The Dualism of Milan” collection features two chapters representing the monochromatic and colorful spirit of the city.

Dorian Webb, Kealeboga and Ursula Pule
CollectionsJun 18, 2024
Zales Adds Dorian Webb, Nungu Diamonds to Designer Edit

The Designer Edit, launched earlier this year, highlights up-and-coming jewelry designers.

National Association of Jewelry Appraisers Logo
Events & AwardsJun 18, 2024
NAJA Announces Its Mid-Year ‘Ace It’ Conference

The conference will focus on the “practical ‘how to’ of appraising gems and jewelry,” said NAJA Executive Director Gail Brett Levine.

De Beers CEO Al Cook
EditorsJun 17, 2024
Q&A: Al Cook on the Future of De Beers

The De Beers CEO discussed the Anglo American situation, natural diamond marketing, and why the future of lab-grown diamonds is technology.

Bernd Munsteiner
SourcingJun 17, 2024
Fantasy Cut Inventor Bernd Munsteiner Dies at 81

Known to many as the “Picasso of gems" who modernized the gem cutting field, he is remembered by his family as going through life with open eyes.

Thomas Markle Jewelers interior
IndependentsJun 17, 2024
Thomas Markle Jewelers to Relocate

The Houston-based family jeweler is relocating its flagship just across the street.

Instore and Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference Logos
Events & AwardsJun 17, 2024
Instore Show, Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference to Co-Locate

The partnership, now in its second year, allows CRJC attendees to register for a free Instore show badge.

Stock image of a gavel
CrimeJun 14, 2024
2 Men Sentenced to Life in 2022 Murder of Detroit-Area Jeweler

In court, Daniel Hutchinson’s loved ones remembered the jeweler as a giver, a role model, and a leader.

Billie Bangle
CollectionsJun 14, 2024
Piece of the Week: Jade Trau’s ‘Billie’ Bangle

Take a walk along this bangle’s diamond “cobblestone” made from round-, pear-, and marquise-cut diamonds.

Graphic with headshots for My Next Question 2024 Las Vegas webinar
Recorded WebinarsJun 14, 2024
Watch: What Happened in Vegas in 2024

The National Jeweler editors discuss the hot topics, best jewels, and current trends that stood out during Jewelry Market Week.

NJSB1.JPG
Supplier BulletinJun 13, 2024
Leading with Innovation: Core Scientific’s Advanced Refining Solutions

Sponsored by Core Scientific

Vera Wang Love True lab-grown diamond engagement ring
FinancialsJun 13, 2024
Signet Awaits Engagement Recovery as Q1 Sales Sink 9%

The company is expecting to see a 5 to 10 percent increase in engagements this year.

QVC HSN logo
MajorsJun 13, 2024
HSN, QVC Parent Company Faces Delisting

Qurate Retail is in the middle of a turnaround plan as it battles declining sales.

45.07-carat step cut fancy vivid yellow diamond
AuctionsJun 13, 2024
45-Carat Yellow Diamond Withdrawn from Phillips Auction

Signed jewels and period pieces stood out at the sale.

Marie Lichtenberg Scapular necklace
TrendsJun 13, 2024
Amanda’s Style File: For the Fathers

Showcase your dad’s personal style with a piece of fine jewelry for Father’s Day.

The Eden Rose Diamond
AuctionsJun 12, 2024
10-Carat Pink Diamond Sells for $13M at Christie’s

“The Eden Rose” is a fancy intense pink diamond that was appearing at auction for the first time.

×

This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy