U.S. Consumer Confidence March 2015

U.S. consumer confidence decreased to a reading of 101.3 (1985=100) in March, as published this morning by The Conference Board. This compares to a revised reading of 98.8 in February.

The Present Situation Index component decreased to 112.1 from 109.1, while the Expectations Index component increased to 90.0 from 96.0.

Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board, said: “Consumer confidence improved in March after retreating in February. This month’s increase was driven by an improved short-term outlook for both employment and income prospects; consumers were less upbeat about business conditions. Consumers’ assessment of current conditions declined for the second consecutive month, suggesting that growth may have softened in Q1, and doesn’t appear to be gaining any significant momentum heading into the spring months.”

Consumer Confidence

The U.S. consumer sentiment index, reported by the University of Michigan, decreased to 93.0 in March from 95.4 in February.

The harsh winter weather and the small rebound in gas prices caused some slippage in consumer confidence since the start of the year. Importantly, most of the recent variation was among lower income households, whose budgets are more sensitive to higher utility costs and disruptions in work hours. Households with incomes in the middle and top thirds of the distribution, in contrast, recorded gains in confidence in the March survey. Expanding job opportunities as well as more favorable wage gains have meant that consumer spending will rebound during the balance of the year. While there is a widespread expectation that interest rates will begin to rise later in the year, few consumers anticipated that the size of the increases will dampen their credit sensitive purchase plans.

Consumer Sentiment

The recent trend:

Confidence Both

U.S. Consumer Confidence February 2015

U.S. consumer confidence decreased to a reading of 96.4 (1985=100) in February, as published this morning by The Conference Board. This compares to a revised reading of 103.8 in January.

The Present Situation Index component decreased to 110.2 from 113.9, while the Expectations Index component decreased to 87.2 from 97.0.

According to Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board: “After a large gain in January, consumer confidence retreated in February, but still remains at pre-recession levels (September 2007, Index, 99.5). Consumers’ assessment of current conditions remained positive, but short-term expectations declined. While the number of consumers expecting conditions to deteriorate was virtually unchanged, fewer consumers expect conditions to improve, prompting a less upbeat outlook. Despite this month’s decline, consumers remain confident that the economy will continue to expand at the current pace in the months ahead.”

Consumer Confidence

The U.S. consumer sentiment index, reported by the University of Michigan, decreased to 93.6 in February from 98.1 in January.

Consumer Sentiment

The recent trend:

Consumer Confidence Both

January 2015 Consumer Confidence

U.S. consumer confidence decreased to a reading of 102.9 (1985=100) in January, as published this morning by The Conference Board. This compares to a revised reading of 93.1 in December.

The Present Situation Index component increased to 112.6 from 99.9, while the Expectations Index component increased to 96.4 from 88.5.

Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board, said: “Consumer confidence rose sharply in January, and is now at its highest level since August 2007 (Index, 105.6). A more positive assessment of current business and labor market conditions contributed to the improvement in consumers’ view of the present situation. Consumers also expressed a considerably higher degree of optimism regarding the short-term outlook for the economy and labor market, as well as their earnings.”

Consumer Confidence

The U.S. consumer sentiment index, reported by the University of Michigan, increased to 98.2 in January from 93.6 in December.

Consumer Sentiment

The recent trend:

Both Confidence

December Consumer Confidence

U.S. consumer confidence decreased to a reading of 92.6 (1985=100) in December, as published this morning by The Conference Board. This compares to a revised reading of 91.0 in November.

The Present Situation Index component increased to 98.6 from 93.7, while the Expectations Index component decreased to 88.50 from 89.3.

Says Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board, “Consumer confidence rebounded modestly in December, propelled by a considerably more favorable assessment of current economic and labor market conditions. As a result, the Present Situation Index is now at its highest level since February 2008 (Index, 104.0). Consumers were moderately less optimistic about the short-term outlook in December, but even so, they are more confident at year-end than they were at the beginning of the year.”

Consumer Confidence

The U.S. consumer sentiment index, reported by the University of Michigan, increased to 93.6 in December from 88.8 in November.

Consumer Sentiment

The recent trend:

Confidence and Sentimentr

November Consumer Confidence

U.S. consumer confidence decreased to a reading of 88.7 (1985=100) in November, as published this morning by The Conference Board. This compares to a revised reading of 94.1 in October.

The Present Situation Index component decreased to 91.3 from 94.4, while the Expectations Index component decreased to 87.0 from 93.8.

Says Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board: “Consumer confidence retreated in November, primarily due to reduced optimism in the short-term outlook. Consumers were somewhat less positive about current business conditions and the present state of the job market; moreover, their optimism in the short-term outlook in both areas has waned. However, income expectations were virtually unchanged and gas prices remain low, which should help boost holiday sales.”

Consumer Confidence

The U.S. consumer sentiment index, reported by the University of Michigan, increased slightly to 86.9 in November from 86.4 in October.

Consumer Sentiment

The recent trend:

Both Consumer COnfidence

October Consumer Confidence

U.S. consumer confidence increased to a reading of 94.5 (1985=100) in October, as published this morning by The Conference Board. This compares to a revised reading of 89.0 in September.

The Present Situation Index component increased to 9.7 from 93.0, while the Expectations Index component increased to 95.0 from 96.4.

Says Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board: “Consumer confidence, which had declined in September, rebounded in October. A more favorable assessment of the current job market and business conditions contributed to the improvement in consumers’ view of the present situation. Looking ahead, consumers have regained confidence in the short-term outlook for the economy and labor market, and are more optimistic about their future earnings potential. With the holiday season around the corner, this boost in confidence should be a welcome sign for retailers.”

CB COnfidence

The U.S. consumer sentiment index, reported by the University of Michigan, increased to 86.4 in October from 84.6 in September.

Consumer Sentiment

The recent trend:

Consumer Confidence

PhDs Stuck In Grunt Work

Diploma

In recent years, the postdoc position has become less a stepping stone and more of a holding tank. Some of the smartest people in Boston are caught up in an all-but-invisible crisis, mired in a biomedical underclass as federal funding for research has leveled off, leaving the supply of well-trained scientists outstripping demand.

“It’s sunk in that it’s by no means guaranteed — for anyone, really — that an academic position is possible,” said Gary McDowell, 29, a biologist doing his second postdoc at Tufts University who hopes to set up his own lab in a few years. “There’s this huge labor force here to do the bench work, the grunt work of science. But then there’s nowhere for them to go; this massive pool of postdocs that accumulates and keeps growing.”

Glut of postdoc researchers stirs quiet crisis in science