Consumer Confidence Index remains at 15-year high

A measure of consumer confidence remains at a 15-year high on more upbeat assessments of present business and labor conditions as well as expectations for further improvement.

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index rose 3.2 points to 114.8 in February.

“Overall, consumers expect the economy to continue expanding in the months ahead,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators for the Conference Board, a business research and membership association.

The Conference Board bases the index on the results of monthly surveys. Economists monitor the index because consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of all economic activity.

A component of the index tracking the present situation rose 3.4 points to 133.4.

The portion of consumers responding to the survey upon which the Februry index was based who described business conditions as “good” slipped 1.3 points to 28.7 percent. But the share of those who characterized conditions as “bad” fell 2.7 points to 13.2 percent.

The portion of consumers who said jobs are “plentiful” declined nine-tenths of a point to 26.2 percent. But the share of those who said jobs are “hard to get” fell eight-tenths of a point to 20.3 percent.

A component of the index tracking consumer expectations rose 3.1 points to 102.4.

The share of consumers who expect business conditions to improve over the next six months rose 1.1 points to 24 percent. The portion of those anticipating worsening conditions edged up three-tenths of a point to 11.1 percent.

The share of those who expect more jobs to become available in coming months advanced seven-tenths of a point to 20.4 percent. The portion of those forecasting fewer jobs retreated eight-tenths of a point to 13.6 percent.

While 18.3 percent of consumers responding to the survey said they expect their incomes to increase, up two-tenths of a point, 8.2 percent said they anticipate decrease incomes, down 1.2 points.