January 2022 – The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index increased to 115.8 points in December, suggesting consumers headed into 2022 with a positive outlook for the coming year.
The future expectations component of the index increased by nearly seven points, while the present situation component remained flat, decreasing by just 0.3 points to 144.1 and still struggling to get back to pre-pandemic levels. Consumers’ impressions of current business conditions were “less negative.” The differential—the percentage of consumers who view the category positively minus those who see it negatively—was -6.9 percent, up from -9.4 percent in November.
This was also reflected in impressions of the present labor market, with a more than 42 percent differential of those viewing jobs currently “plentiful,” down slightly from November’s reading but remaining close to historical highs. More consumers saw business conditions improving in the following six months, while fewer expected them to worsen. The differential improved to +8.8 percent, which bodes well for consumer momentum entering the new year. Income expectations—a strong indicator of consumer spending—remained strong with a positive differential of 6.5 percent.¹