January’s Consumer Confidence Research Notes

by Jim Baird on January 25, 2011

Consumers find reason for hope in jobs market

Confidence rose in January, reversing course from a slights decline in December, as consumers continue to find reasons for optimism in the employment market and business conditions.

The downward move in the unemployment rate and gradual improvement in the jobs market appear to be giving a boost to spirits.

Overall confidence remains relatively low, as the growing number of optimists is still outnumbered by pessimists in the survey.  Like any number of other key economic indicators, progress is being made, but at a pace that is not satisfactory to many.

The Fed has indicated that we are now facing a “moderately stronger” recovery, a welcomed sign that the pace at which the economy is improving has increased in recent months.

Even in this improving environment, the economy continues to face harsh realities in a depressed housing market, budgetary problems in the public sector, and high joblessness.  The improvements that we’ve seen, while meaningful, in many regards are just scratching the surface of what will be needed in the years ahead to rebuild confidence in the U.S. economy.

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