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The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index Hits Five Year High

Press release from the issuing company

2/27/07 -- The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had marginally increased in January, improved in February. The Index now stands at 112.5 (1985=100), up from 110.2 in January. The Present Situation Index increased to 139.0 from 133.9. The Expectations Index edged up slightly to 94.8 from 94.4 last month. The Consumer Confidence Survey is based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households. The monthly survey is conducted for The Conference Board by TNS. TNS is the world's largest custom research company. The cutoff date for February's preliminary results was February 20th. Says Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center: "Consumer Confidence now stands at a five-and-a-half year high (August 2001, 114.0), as improving present-day business conditions and an easing in the proportion of consumers claiming jobs are hard to get have combined to lift consumers' spirits. Looking ahead six months, consumers' outlook was little changed from last month. All in all, it appears that the pace of economic growth exhibited in the final months of 2006 has carried over into early 2007 and may have even gained a little momentum." Consumers' assessment of present conditions improved further in February. Those claiming conditions are "good" increased to 29.4 percent from 28.0 percent. Those saying conditions are "bad" declined to 14.3 percent from 16.2 percent. Labor market conditions were somewhat mixed. Consumers saying jobs are "hard to get" declined to 17.5 percent from 19.7 percent. This series now stands at a five-and-a-half year low (August 2001, 16.0 percent). Those claiming jobs are "plentiful," however, decreased to 27.7 percent from 29.6 percent in January. Consumers' outlook for the next six months did not change significantly in February. Those anticipating business conditions to worsen remained at 8.0 percent, while those expecting business conditions to improve increased slightly to 16.7 percent from 16.3 percent. The outlook for the labor market was relatively more upbeat. Consumers expecting fewer jobs in the months ahead declined to 14.1 percent from 15.6 percent, but those holding the opposite view remained virtually unchanged at 13.7 percent. The proportion of consumers expecting their incomes to increase in the months ahead declined to 17.7 percent from 20.0 percent in January.