US consumer confidence slipped for the second straight month in February, according to the The Conference Board.
The Consumer Confidence Index fell to 102.9 in February vs. a downwardly revised figure of 106.0 in January.
“Consumer confidence declined again in February,” Ataman Ozyildirim, senior director of economics at The Conference Board, said in a statement. “The decrease reflected large drops in confidence for households aged 35 to 54 and for households earning $35,000 or more.”
He said that while consumers’ view of current business conditions worsened in February, the Present Situation Index inched up slightly “based on a more favorable view of the availability of jobs.”
The Present Situation Index rose to 152.8 this month from 151.1 in January.
Looking forward, the Expectations Index, based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions, declined to 69.7 in February from a downwardly revised 76.0 in January.
The Conference Board said the Expectations Index has now dipped “well below” 80—the level that often signals a recession within the next year. The Board noted it has been below this level for 11 of the last 12 months.
This has trickled down to spending habits. Ozyildirim said consumers may be showing early signs of pulling back spending in the face of high prices and rising interest rates.
“Fewer consumers are planning to purchase homes or autos, and they also appear to be scaling back plans to buy major appliances,” he added.
By Ethan Bernard, email@example.com
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