Business & Investment

Restoring consumer confidence in vaccine hope and economic improvement

Numbers: Consumer confidence regained a bit in January as Americans turned to improving vaccine availability and the economy past numerous coronavirus cases and deaths.

The Consumer Confidence Index rose from 87.1, revised in December, to 89.3. The Conference Board said on Tuesday. Last month’s reading was the lowest in 5 months.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal predicted a slight drop to 88.

However, confidence is still well below the pre-pandemic level. The pre-virus index for February last year was 132.6.

What happened: Indicators that track how consumers feel about the current economy fell in December. It fell from 87.2 to 84.4.

The record surge in coronavirus cases during the winter has weakened confidence and hurt the economy after more states have resumed restrictions on individuals and businesses.

Yet another gauge, the so-called future expectations index, which assesses how Americans see the next six months, has risen significantly. It jumped from 87 to 92.5 and reached its highest level in three months.

Big picture: The next few months can be at risk before the economy is completely around the corner. Americans are still worried about the coronavirus, but more hopefully the worst of the pandemic is over. The number of cases of coronavirus is declining again, and vaccines are being offered in ever-increasing amounts.

What are they saying? Lin Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators, a nonprofit organization, said: “Consumers’ assessment of the current situation weakened further in January, with COVID-19 still the main restraint.

“But consumer expectations for the economy and employment are even higher, suggesting that consumers are predicting that the situation will improve in the not too distant future.”

Market reaction: Dow Jones Industrial Average
+ 0.16%

And S & P 500
+ 0.00%

It rose in trading on Tuesday.

Restoring consumer confidence in vaccine hope and economic improvement Restoring consumer confidence in vaccine hope and economic improvement

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