US consumer sentiment improved in December

WASHINGTON (Dow Jones) – Sentiment among US consumers brightened in December. As reported by the Conference Board research institute, the consumer confidence index rose to 115.8. Economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires had expected a reading of 111.0. The previous month’s value was revised upwards to 111.9 from 109.5. The index for assessing the current situation decreased to 144.1 (previous month: 144.4), that for expectations increased to 96.9 (90.2).

“Consumer confidence continued to improve in December after a very modest increase in November,” said Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators for the Conference Board. The index for assessing the current situation has fallen slightly, but remains very high. This suggests that the economy maintained its momentum in the last month of 2021. The expectations regarding the short-term growth prospects have improved, which creates the conditions for further growth in early 2022.

The proportion of consumers who considered buying houses, cars or large appliances in the next six months has increased, so Franco. Concerns about inflation and Covid-19 have subsided. However, with a view to 2022, Franco estimates that both consumer confidence and consumer spending will continue to face headwinds from rising prices and an expected winter surge in the pandemic.

US consumers play a key role in the US economy because around 70 percent of gross domestic product depends on private consumption. A total of 5,000 households were interviewed as part of the Conference Board survey.

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 22, 2021 10:21 ET (15:21 GMT)

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