Consumer confidence rises less than expected as perception of current conditions wavers


A man pushes his shopping cart past bread for sale at a Walmart Supercenter store in Rosemead, California on May 23, 2019.

Frederic J. Brown | AFP | Getty Images

Consumer confidence rose less than expected in February as people’s assessment of current conditions wavered, data released Tuesday by The Conference Board showed.

The consumer confidence index came in at 130.7, up from 130.4 in January. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected a print of 132.6. The Conference Board’s present situation index, which accounts for consumers’ assessment of the current business and labor environment, dropped to 165.1 from 173.9 in January. 

The confidence index’s weaker-than-forecast print comes a day after the stock market had its worst day in two years, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling more than 1,000 points, amid concerns over the coronavirus’ impact on the global economy. 

“Despite the decline in the Present Situation Index, consumers continue to view current conditions quite favorably,” said Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, in a statement. “Consumers’ short-term expectations improved, and when coupled with solid employment growth, should be enough to continue to support spending and economic growth in the near term.”

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