April 18th, 2024

Consumer confidence slips in February as anxiety over potential recession perked up

By Matt Ott, The Associated Press on February 27, 2024.

American consumers are feeling less confident this month as concerns over a possible recession grew.

The Conference Board, a business research group, said Tuesday that its consumer confidence index fell to 106.7 from a revised 110.9 in January. Analysts had been forecasting that the index remained steady from January to February. The decline in the index comes after three straight months of improvement.

The index measures both Americans’ assessment of current economic conditions and their outlook for the next six months.

The index measuring Americans short-term expectations for income, business and the job market fell to 79.8 from 81.5 in January. A reading under 80 often signals an upcoming recession.

Consumers’ view of current conditions also retreated, falling to 147.2 from 154.9.

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.

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