Post-ABC CCI: Consumer Confidence on the Rise
Consumer confidence improved dramatically this week as gas prices continue to retreat from near record highs. Overall buyer sentiment, however, remains in negative territory.
The Post-ABC Consumer Comfort Index (CCI) jumped five points this week, to -7 on its scale of +100 to -100. The index is now eight points higher than it was a month ago.
The steep ascent reverses May's sharp decline, which accompanied a run-up in gas prices. According to the Department of Energy, the average cost of a gallon of regular unleaded peaked at $3.21 in late May. Since that time, pump prices have trended downward, and now average $2.91, 21 cents lower than the recent high.
This week's big bump in confidence is largely due to a five point increase in the percentage of Americans saying that now is a good time to buy things. That's the part of the three-question index that is most sensitive to gas prices.
While it has improved, only 39 percent say now is a good time to buy things, and the CCI itself remains in negative territory. Consistently negative perceptions of the national economy are contributing to the CCI's stint below zero, with six in 10 saying the economy is "not so good" or "poor." A Post-Kaiser-Harvard poll (PDF) released this week shows that financial insecurity could have something to do with these negative economic assessments.
In that poll, only about a quarter of Americans said they felt as though their family was getting ahead financially. A slim majority said they had just enough to maintain their standard of living, and two in 10 said they were falling behind.
Complete detail on the Post-ABC CCI is available here. Interviews for this week's data were completed Sunday, July 1.
July 3, 2007; 5:20 PM ET
Categories: Post-ABC Consumer Comfort Index
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