Consumer Confidence at a three-year high
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index improved to a reading of 70.4, up from 64.8 in January.
The February reading is at a three-year high -- the highest since February 2008, when the index was at 76.4.
"Consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions has improved moderately, but still remains rather weak," said Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board Consumer Research Center. "Looking ahead, consumers are more positive about the economy and their income prospects, but feel somewhat mixed about employment conditions.”
The Present Situation Index improved to 33.4 from 31.1. The Expectations Index increased to 95.1 from 87.3 last month.
Consumers were mixed about the job market. Those expecting more jobs in the months ahead edged down to 19.8% from 20.8%, however, those anticipating fewer jobs decreased to 15.4% from 21.2%. The proportion of consumers expecting an increase in their incomes rose to 17.3% from 15.3%.
This month's data is the first to be collected by The Nielsen Company, which bases the index on a probability-design random sample. The cutoff date for February’s preliminary results was February 10, 2011.