Another survey shows rising consumer sentiment


ChartYou have to love it when consumers are registering increased levels of confidence just in time for the holiday shopping season. A Conference Board report on confidence seconds the results reported by BIGinsight.

The top line increases reported by CB were impressive – the Consumer Confidence Index rose from 61.3 in August to 70.3 in September; the Expectations Index rose from 71.1 to 83.7, and the Present Situation Index rose from 46.5 to 50.2. The reports are based on statistics provided by Nielsen.

CB’s Lynn Franco commented, “The Consumer Confidence Index rebounded in September and is back to levels seen earlier this year (71.6 in February 2012). Consumers were more positive in their assessment of current conditions, in particular the job market, and considerably more optimistic about the short-term outlook for business conditions, employment and their financial situation. Despite continuing economic uncertainty, consumers are slightly more optimistic than they have been in several months.”

Still, only 15.5% believe business conditions are good at the moment, only marginally better than a month ago, when 15.3% said the same. However, those saying they are bad declined 1.0% to 33.3%. Those saying jobs were plentiful rose 1.1% to 8.3% and those saying they are hard to get declined 0.7% to 39.9%.

Those expecting the business climate to improve rose from 16.7% to 18.2%, and those expecting a better employment picture rose from 15.8% to 18.5%.

RBR-TVBR observation: Even when consumer sentiment wasn’t all that hot, we’ve noticed consumers at least keeping their holiday spending at par with what they were spending the previous year – almost as if they’re thumbing their noses at the economy and determining to have some fun no matter what.

If consumers are feeling a little friskier, perhaps a few more will indulge themselves, maybe even invest in big ticket items that have been on hold, and in general pump some welcome cash into the economy as a whole.

Anyway, two reports, two healthy increases in confidence. Good information to share with your retail clients.