Tags: rasmussen | consumer | confidence

Rasmussen Confidence Index Highest in Four Years

Sunday, 25 Mar 2012 05:44 PM

U.S. consumers are as confident in their economy has they have been in four years, one indicator shows.

The Rasmussen Consumer Index, which measures the economic confidence of consumers on a daily basis, hit 95.7 on Sunday, its highest level since Jan. 5, 2008.

"Consumer confidence is up three points from a week ago, 11 points from a month ago and 16 points from three months ago," Rasmussen reports.

The Rasmussen Investor Index, meanwhile, held steady on Sunday at 109.0 and just a point under the highest level measured since January 2008.
Investor confidence is up seven points from last week, 16 points from a month ago and 15 points from three months ago.

The economy, while on the mend, is far from out of the woods, however.
Fifty-seven percent of consumers still believe the United States remains in a recession, while just 30 percent disagree.

Investors were only slightly less pessimistic, with 53 percent stating they believed the nation is in a recession, with 35 percent feeling otherwise.
Consumer spending accounts for more than 70 percent of U.S. economic output, and other highly watched indicators show consumers are feeling better about their future.

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index stood 70.8 in February, up from a revised 61.5 in January, mainly due to hopes of an improving jobs market, the non-profit analysis firm says in a statement.

However, separate research by Bankrate.com shows that half of Americans are confident that the U.S. economic recovery will last through the year, and half are not. According to Bankrate's most recent Financial Security Index survey in March, wages haven't kept up with rising food and energy prices.

"What this shows is that there is a fair amount of skepticism on the part of consumers," says Greg McBride, senior financial analyst for Bankrate.com, according to U.S. News & World Report.

"For a lot of people their income just doesn't have the buying power that it did two or three years ago," McBride says, adding "not only does that make it difficult to make financial headway on things like paying down debt and boosting savings, but it's hard to feel like you're getting ahead when your paycheck doesn't go as far as it used to."

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2012-44-25
Sunday, 25 Mar 2012 05:44 PM
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