U.S. consumer confidence improves in January

Updated 2018-01-31 03:08:02 Xinhua

U.S. consumer confidence, which had declined in December 2017, increased in January, the New York-based research group Conference Board said Tuesday in a report.

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index registered 125.4 in January, up from 123.1 in December.

The report showed that consumers' assessment of business conditions was slightly less positive. The percentage saying business conditions are "good" decreased slightly from 35.8 percent to 34.9 percent, while those saying business conditions are "bad" increased slightly, from 11.7 percent to 12.7 percent.

Meanwhile, consumers' optimism about the short-term outlook improved in January, following a sharp decline in December. The percentage of consumers anticipating business conditions to improve over the next six months increased marginally, from 21.6 percent to 22.0 percent, while those expecting business conditions to worsen increased from 9.0 percent to 9.8 percent.

Consumers' outlook for the job market was also less negative. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead was virtually unchanged at 19.0 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs declined from 15.9 percent to 11.8 percent. Regarding their short-term income prospects, the percentage of consumers expecting an improvement decreased from 22.7 percent to 20.4 percent, while the proportion expecting a decrease also declined, from 9.0 percent to 7.7 percent.

"Consumers' assessment of current conditions decreased slightly, but remains at historically strong levels. Expectations improved, though consumers were somewhat ambivalent about their income prospects over the coming months, perhaps the result of some uncertainty regarding the impact of the tax plan," said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board.

"Overall, however, consumers remain quite confident that the solid pace of growth seen in late 2017 will continue into 2018," she added.

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