By Matt Ott, The Associated Press on January 30, 2024.
American consumers, fresh off strong holiday spending, are feeling more confident than they have in two years.
The Conference Board, a business research group, said Tuesday that its consumer confidence index rose for the third straight month, to 114.8 in January from 108 in December. January’s reading came in just slightly higher than the 114 that analysts were expecting.
The index, which measures both Americans’ assessment of current economic conditions and their outlook for the next six months, is at its highest level since December of 2021.
Americans’ expectations of a recession in the next 12 months continued to decline.
Consumer spending accounts for about 70% of U.S. economic activity, so economists pay close attention to consumer behavior as they take measure of the broader economy.