2012 Economic Calendar
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Consumer Confidence 
Released On 1/31/2012 10:00:00 AM For Jan, 2012
  PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Consumer Confidence - Level64.5 61.5 68.0 59.0  to 65.5 61.1 

Highlights
Weakness in the assessment of current conditions -- likely reflecting rising gas prices and perhaps a more difficult jobs market -- pulled down consumer confidence this month to 61.1 from December's revised 64.8. The report's present situation component fell more than 8 points to 38.4 in what nearly erases December's strong showing. Weakness here is centered unfortunately in the jobs market where 43.5 percent say jobs are hard to get. This is not a good indication for Friday's employment report and compares with the recovery low of 41.6 percent in December.

The expectations component also slipped but just barely, to 76.2 vs 77.0. The job readings on the expectations side showing rising optimism that contrasts with the current assessment of the jobs market. This suggests that consumers think current troubles will be temporary. Still, consumers see their income power falling in the months ahead which is a negative for the consumer spending outlook.

Gas prices likely have much to do with income expectations and they certainly affect inflation expectations which are up 2 tenths this month to plus 5.5 percent for the one-year outlook. This report hints at trouble for January suggesting the month may prove to be a weak one in what is otherwise a rising trend for the economy. The Dow is moving further off opening highs following this report.

Market Consensus before announcement
The Conference Board's consumer confidence index in December posted a solid 9.3 point rise to 64.5 for the best reading in eight months. The consumer view of the jobs situation clearly is improving, although slowly. Those saying jobs are currently hard to get were down to 41.8 percent from 43.0 percent in November for the lowest level of the recovery. And for the first time since April, there were more optimists, 17.1 percent, than pessimists, 14.4 percent, when it comes to their own income outlook.

Definition
The Conference Board compiles a survey of consumer attitudes on the economy. The headline Consumer Confidence Index is based on consumers' perceptions of current business and employment conditions, as well as their expectations for six months hence regarding business conditions, employment, and income. Three thousand households across the country are surveyed each month.

The Conference Board changed its polling company in 2010. The current polling company is Nielsen Co. with the former being TNS Inc. The switchover reference month for the new data is November 2010. Because of the change in the polling service (even though the questions in the questionnaire are the same) the data are not completely consistent and November 2010 should be considered a break in the series. In general, while the level of consumer confidence is associated with consumer spending, the two do not move in tandem each and every month.
 Why Investors Care
 
[Chart]
Typically retail sales will move in tandem with consumer optimism - although not necessarily each and every month.
Data Source: Haver Analytics
 

 

2012 Released Schedule
Released On: 1/312/283/274/245/296/267/318/289/2511/111/2712/27
Release For: JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
 


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