Jan. consumer confidence higher than expected
UPDATED at 12:15 p.m.:
January consumer sentiment came in higher than forecasters expected, signaling a brighter mood in the marketplace.
The consumer confidence index number for this month finished at 74.4, up from the 73 number forecasters expected and the 72.8 from last month, according to the Reuters/University of Michigan survey.
Coupled with the better-than-expected fourth-quarter GDP number out this morning, the consumer confidence number will be welcomed by embattled Democrats fighting off a suddenly energized Republican Party.
As I always write, the consumer confidence index is broken down into two components: the present situation index -- how consumers feel about the economy and their place in it right now -- and the expectations index -- how folks think the economy will be six months from now.
The January present situation index rose from 78 in December to 81.1 in January.
The expectations index rose from 68.9 in December to 70.1 in January.
Typically, consumers are more optimistic about the future than their current situation, so the January numbers are a little troubling, given that 70 percent of U.S. GDP is based on consumer spending.
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January 29, 2010; 12:15 PM ET
Categories: The Ticker | Tags: GDP, consumer confidence
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