Instant View: Consumer confidence highest since Sept 08

NEW YORK (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. consumer confidence rose for the third straight month in January to the highest since September 2008, driven mostly by an improvement in present-day conditions, according to a private report released on Tuesday.

KEY POINTS: * The Conference Board, an industry group, said its index of consumer attitudes rose to 55.9 in January from an upwardly revised 53.6 in December. * The median of forecasts from analysts polled by Reuters was for a January reading of 53.5. Forecasts ranged from 50.0 to 57.0. * The December reading was revised up from an original 52.9. * The expectations index rose to 76.5, the highest since October 2007, from December’s upwardly revised 75.9. The present situation index rose to 25.0, the highest since August, from 20.2 in December.

COMMENTS:

DOUG ROBERTS, CHIEF INVESTMENT STRATEGIST, CHANNEL CAPITAL

RESEARCH.COM, SHREWSBURY, NEW JERSEY:

“It’s better than expected but it seems to be overshadowed (in the market) by everything else. People may be coming out from under the rock but they’re not breaking out the champagne.”

WARD MCCARTHY, CHIEF FINANCIAL ECONOMIST, JEFFERIES & CO, NEW

YORK:

“It’s the highest reading since September of 2008, which shows we are continuing to dig out of the economic recession.

“This really bodes well for consumer spending. It shows we are in a modest recovery and we will likely maintain a modest recovery for the next few quarters.”

GARY THAYER, CHIEF MACROSTRATEGIST, WELLS FARGO ADVISORS, ST.

LOUIS, MISSOURI:

“It looks like the decline in layoffs might be improving confidence. We’ve seen the financial markets stabilize. We’ve seen the housing market stabilize. These are positives for the economy, but confidence is probably more affected by labor market conditions than financial market conditions.

“People are feeling a little better about the present situation where the reading was at its highest level since last August. This is consistent with the decline in layoffs we’ve seen recently and the decreasing number of people filing unemployment insurance claims. Jobs are still hard to get, but not quite as hard to get as they were back in October.”

DAN COOK, SENIOR MARKET ANALYST, IG MARKETS, CHICAGO:

“A better than expected number. I am a little shocked by that. It looks like we are polarized with those stating conditions are bad have increased but the majority have looked more like they are going to the optimistic side. The dollar should get a little bit of a boost. The main story given China is risk aversion.”

MARKET REACTION: STOCKS: U.S. stock indexes shed some losses. BONDS: U.S. Treasury debt prices pared gains. DOLLAR: U.S. dollar was steady.

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Instant View: Consumer confidence highest since Sept 08