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Current conditions improve, but expectations weaken.

February Results

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index, which had improved in January, edged down in February. The Index now stands at 104.0 (1985=100), down from 105.1 in January. The Present Situation Index increased to 116.4 from 112.1. The Expectations Index, however, declined to 95.7 from 100.4 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 NFO. TNS NFO is one of the TNS group of companies (LSE: TNN). The cutoff date for February's preliminary results was February 15th.

Consumers' overall assessment of current conditions improved in February. The percentage claiming business conditions are "good" eased to 24.9 percent from 26.1 percent, but those claiming conditions are "bad" declined to 15.6 percent from 18.1 percent. The employment picture also improved. Consumers saying jobs are "hard to get" fell to 22.6 percent from 24.3 percent, while those claiming jobs are "plentiful" was virtually unchanged at 20.9 percent.

Consumers' short-term outlook lost ground in February. Those anticipating business conditions to improve declined to 17.8 percent from 22.0 percent, but consumers expecting business conditions to worsen held steady at 7.8 percent. The outlook for the labor market was also somewhat less optimistic. Now, 15.2 percent of consumers versus 16.6 percent expect more jobs to become available in the coming months. And, 16.8 percent versus 15.1 percent expect fewer jobs. The proportion of consumers anticipating their incomes to improve in the months ahead edged down to 18.5 percent from 19.0 percent last month.

Although expectations cooled this month, consumers are more optimistic today than they were a year ago. Just as important, consumers' assessment of current economic conditions, including the labor market, continues to gather momentum. Despite recent fluctuations, both present and future indicators point toward continued expansion in the months ahead.
Percentage of households = 100%

 Business

 All series 2004
seasonally adjusted Feb. Mar. Apr. May June July

 Composite Series: Index Numbers, 1985=100

Consumer Confidence Index 88.5 88.5 93.0 93.1 102.8 105.7
 Present Situation 83.3 84.4 90.4 90.5 105.9 106.4
 Expectations 91.9 91.3 94.8 94.8 100.8 105.3

 Appraisal of Present Situation: Percent

Business Conditions
 Good 19.3 20.7 21.7 22.2 25.8 25.2
 Bad 23.2 23.1 21.7 21.6 17.4 19.1
 Normal 57.5 56.2 56.6 56.2 56.8 55.7
Employment
 lobs plentiful 14.5 14.7 15.6 16.6 18.3 19.7
 Jobs not so plentiful 56.6 55.4 56.4 53.1 55.5 54.6
 Jobs hard to get 28.9 29.9 28.0 30.3 26.2 25.7

 Expectations for Six Months Hence: Percent

Business Conditions
 Better 19.5 19.5 20.8 22.8 23.5 23.0
 Worse 9.6 9.7 9.3 10.1 9.1 7.1
 Same 70.9 70.8 69.9 67.1 67.4 69.9
Employment
 More jobs 16.4 15.7 18.3 18.7 19.9 19.5
 Fewer jobs 18.8 17.3 17.7 17.3 16.8 13.5
 Same 64.8 67.0 64.0 64.0 63.3 67.0
Income
 Increase 17.1 18.0 17.4 17.1 19.7 18.0
 Decrease 8.4 10.1 9.6 10.2 8.6 8.5
 Same 74.5 71.9 73.0 72.7 71.7 73.5

 Plans to Buy Within Six Months: Percent

Automobile
 Yes 7.2 5.4 6.6 6.4 6.4 6.8
 New 2.9 2.3 3.3 2.8 3.0 3.3
 Used 3.2 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.8 2.5
 Uncertain 1.1 0.7 0.8 1.0 0.6 1.0
Home
 Yes 3.8 4.2 3.6 4.1 3.6 4.1
 New 1.3 1.4 0.8 1.2 1.0 0.9
 Lived in 1.4 1.8 2.0 1.7 1.5 2.1
 Uncertain 1.1 1.0 0.8 1.2 1.1 1.1
Major appliances
 Total plans 27.5 29.0 31.2 33.0 34.3 30.4
 Refrigerator 3.9 4.6 4.8 5.4 5.5 4.1
 Washing machine 3.7 3.6 3.5 4.3 4.7 4.5
 TV Set 7.4 6.7 7.7 7.9 7.9 7.4
 Vacuum Cleaner 4.8 5.2 5.2 6.2 5.4 5.4
 Range 2.6 3.4 3.7 2.8 3.7 3.2
 Clothes dryer 3.2 3.7 3.9 4.2 5.1 3.8
 Air conditioner 1.9 1.8 2.4 2.2 2.0 2.0
Carpet 4.7 5.2 4.8 5.9 6.5 6.0

 Vacation Intended Within Six Months:
 Percent

Vacation Intended 43.0 42.7 42.7
 Destination
 U.S. 36.6 36.3 35.5
 Foreign country 8.0 8.3 9.3
Means of Travel
 Automobile 23.7 22.4 22.4
 Airplane 17.6 20.6 20.5
 Other 3.6 3.7 3.9

 Business Employment

 All series 2004
seasonally adjusted Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec.

 Composite Series: Index Numbers, 1985=100

Consumer Confidence Index 98.7 96.7 92.9 92.6 102.7
 Present Situation 100.7 95.3 94.0 96.3 105.7
 Expectations 97.3 97.7 92.2 90.2 100.7

 Appraisal of Present Situation: Percent

Business Conditions
 Good 23.0 23.4 21.6 23.2 24.4
 Bad 20.2 20.4 21.4 20.2 17.8
 Normal 56.8 56.2 57.0 56.6 57.8
Employment
 lobs plentiful 18.4 16.6 17.4 17.1 19.4
 Jobs not so plentiful 55.6 55.4 54.7 54.9 54.2
 Jobs hard to get 26.0 28.0 27.9 28.0 26.4

 Expectations for Six Months Hence: Percent

Business Conditions
 Better 20.2 21.6 20.7 20.3 22.4
 Worse 8.8 9.4 10.5 11.4 7.7
 Same 71.0 69.0 68.8 68.3 69.9
Employment
 More jobs 16.3 17.8 16.7 17.6 16.4
 Fewer jobs 15.1 16.2 18.3 19.3 15.3
 Same 68.6 66.0 65.0 63.1 68.3
Income
 Increase 19.7 20.0 19.0 19.2 21.0
 Decrease 9.2 9.2 9.5 10.6 8.5
 Same 71.1 70.8 71.5 70.2 70.5

 Plans to Buy Within Six Months: Percent

Automobile
 Yes 6.5 6.3 7.6 4.6 6.6
 New 2.9 2.6 3.2 2.1 3.2
 Used 2.5 2.5 3.2 1.8 2.4
 Uncertain 1.1 1.2 1.2 0.7 1.0
Home
 Yes 3.9 3.9 3.6 2.6 3.5
 New 1.3 1.0 0.9 0.7 1.1
 Lived in 1.7 2.0 1.4 1.3 1.2
 Uncertain 0.9 0.9 1.3 0.6 1.2
Major appliances
 Total plans 29.0 29.8 27.8 25.3 30.1
 Refrigerator 4.2 5.1 4.3 4.2 4.1
 Washing machine 3.6 3.6 3.8 3.5 4.0
 TV Set 7.5 6.6 7.5 6.4 8.2
 Vacuum Cleaner 5.5 5.8 4.5 4.7 5.3
 Range 3.0 3.4 3.2 2.6 3.2
 Clothes dryer 3.4 3.0 3.1 2.6 3.7
 Air conditioner 1.8 2.3 1.4 1.3 1.6
Carpet 5.4 5.3 5.0 4.0 5.2

 Vacation Intended Within Six Months:
 Percent

Vacation Intended 42.1 47.8 48.5
 Destination
 U.S. 34.9 39.7 39.4
 Foreign country 8.4 9.3 10.1
Means of Travel
 Automobile 21.8 25.4 25.5
 Airplane 18.5 18.4 18.7
 Other 4.1 4.7 5.2

 Income

 All series 2005
seasonally adjusted Jan. (r) Feb.(p)

 Composite Series: Index Numbers, 1985=100

Consumer Confidence Index 105.1 104.0
 Present Situation 112.1 116.4
 Expectations 100.4 95.7

 Appraisal of Present Situation: Percent

Business Conditions
 Good 26.1 24.9
 Bad 18.1 15.6
 Normal 55.8 59.5
Employment
 lobs plentiful 21.0 20.9
 Jobs not so plentiful 54.7 56.5
 Jobs hard to get 24.3 22.6

 Expectations for Six Months Hence: Percent

Business Conditions
 Better 22.0 17.8
 Worse 7.8 7.8
 Same 70.2 74.4
Employment
 More jobs 16.6 15.2
 Fewer jobs 15.1 16.8
 Same 68.3 68.0
Income
 Increase 19.0 18.5
 Decrease 8.1 7.4
 Same 72.9 74.1

 Plans to Buy Within Six Months: Percent

Automobile
 Yes 7.2 7.2
 New 2.4 2.9
 Used 4.0 3.1
 Uncertain 0.8 1.2
Home
 Yes 3.5 3.3
 New 0.9 1.1
 Lived in 1.6 1.4
 Uncertain 1.0 0.8
Major appliances
 Total plans 28.3 27.1
 Refrigerator 5.2 4.3
 Washing machine 3.0 3.4
 TV Set 7.2 7.0
 Vacuum Cleaner 5.5 5.1
 Range 2.8 2.5
 Clothes dryer 2.9 3.3
 Air conditioner 1.7 1.5
Carpet 6.1 4.2

 Vacation Intended Within Six Months:
 Percent

Vacation Intended 42.2
 Destination
 U.S. 35.9
 Foreign country 8.3
Means of Travel
 Automobile 22.6
 Airplane 19.0
 Other 3.0

(p)--preliminary (r)--revised

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Brussels, Belgium 32 2 675 54 05

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The Conference Board and the torch logo are registered trademarks of
The Conference Board, Inc.

Inflation Interest Rates Stock Prices

Not Seasonally 2004
Adjusted Feb. Mar. Apr. May June July

 Expectations for Twelve Months Hence:
 Percent

Inflation Rate
 Average 4.3 4.6 4.8 5.2 5.1 4.4
Interest Rates
 Higher 53.4 54.9 55.9 69.8 68.6 75.3
 Same 36.5 35.2 34.1 22.3 23.5 19.3
 Lower 10.1 9.9 10.0 7.9 7.9 5.4
Stock Prices
 Increase 43.3 39.3 39.7 34.6 36.5 39.0
 Same 38.6 39.9 36.9 40.4 40.4 41.3
 Decrease 18.1 20.8 23.4 25.0 23.1 19.7

Not Seasonally 2004
Adjusted Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec.

 Expectations for Twelve Months Hence:
 Percent

Inflation Rate
 Average 4.5 4.5 5.0 4.8 4.7
Interest Rates
 Higher 69.7 67.6 70.1 67.3 69.2
 Same 22.9 26.0 23.4 26.6 24.2
 Lower 7.4 6.4 6.5 6.1 6.6
Stock Prices
 Increase 33.5 36.9 33.2 41.6 39.3
 Same 41.8 41.7 41.8 40.2 40.7
 Decrease 24.7 21.4 25.0 18.2 20.0

Not Seasonally 2005
Adjusted Jan. (r) Feb. (p)

 Expectations for Twelve Months Hence:
 Percent

Inflation Rate
 Average 4.5 4.4
Interest Rates
 Higher 70.3 71.1
 Same 24.1 22.4
 Lower 5.6 6.5
Stock Prices
 Increase 39.4 39.6
 Same 41.3 41.0
 Decrease 19.3 19.4

 All series 2004
seasonally adjusted Feb. Mar. Apr. May June July

 Consumer Confidence Index, 1985 = 100

Age of Household Head
 Under 35 101.7 101.7 105.5 99.2 113.5 112.1
 35-54 85.5 88.2 89.8 94.8 102.4 103.8
 55 and over 83.6 81.4 88.8 87.2 96.9 103.4

Household Income
 Under $15,000 63.5 61.5 63.4 66.4 69.8 71.6
 $15,000-24,999 65.8 69.4 76.2 68.3 90.9 89.0
 $25,000-34,999 82.8 88.0 88.2 85.2 100.1 93.9
 $35,000-49,999 84.3 79.6 96.9 90.7 104.3 101.7
 $50,000 and over 107.1 105.9 107.5 111.4 116.6 125.2

 All series 2004
seasonally adjusted Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec.

 Consumer Confidence Index, 1985 = 100

Age of Household Head
 Under 35 114.6 109.3 105.9 95.8 114.0
 35-54 95.3 97.9 96.8 89.0 99.3
 55 and over 95.7 90.3 83.4 93.7 101.6

Household Income
 Under $15,000 66.2 61.1 61.2 59.4 72.5
 $15,000-24,999 83.6 78.1 73.1 73.1 79.6
 $25,000-34,999 79.5 94.5 95.2 86.8 93.8
 $35,000-49,999 104.9 97.7 89.5 91.0 107.5
 $50,000 and over 116.6 113.6 108.2 110.5 119.6

 3 mos.
 All series 2005 Percent
seasonally adjusted Jan. (r) Feb. (p) Change *

 Consumer Confidence Index, 1985 = 100

Age of Household Head
 Under 35 116.5 109.7 9.4
 35-54 103.2 101.7 7.2
 55 and over 101.2 101.1 13.7

Household Income
 Under $15,000 75.6 73.6 22.0
 $15,000-24,999 88.5 85.9 13.3
 $25,000-34,999 92.5 94.9 1.7
 $35,000-49,999 104.7 107.9 15.1
 $50,000 and over 122.5 121.5 9.4

* Percent Change: Average of last three months shown as compared with
preceding three months.

Age and Income data have been adjusted for seasonal variations.

Seasonally unadjusted
Index numbers: 2004
U.S. Average, 1985 = 100 Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May

New England
 Consumer Confidence Index 98.2 81.3 85.8 81.2 81.8
 Present Situation 86.5 48.8 71.3 74.8 79.8
 Expectations 106.1 103.0 95.5 85.5 83.1

Middle Atlantic
 Consumer Confidence Index 83.6 72.6 69.4 83.7 78.8
 Present Situation 62.5 65.8 56.9 72.2 72.5
 Expectations 97.7 77.2 77.7 91.4 82.9

East North Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 83.6 71.4 74.4 75.3 79.3
 Present Situation 61.1 51.9 55.6 56.6 68.9
 Expectations 98.6 84.4 87.0 87.9 86.3

West North Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 96.4 93.3 89.4 100.1 86.3
 Present Situation 85.0 77.2 84.5 103.9 93.2
 Expectations 104.0 104.0 92.6 97.6 81.8

South Atlantic
 Consumer Confidence Index 109.6 105.7 104.7 103.0 109.4
 Present Situation 106.6 106.2 112.7 114.5 121.5
 Expectations 111.6 105.3 99.3 95.3 101.4

East South Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 102.2 91.5 84.6 83.0 80.9
 Present Situation 94.8 79.0 74.8 81.9 79.2
 Expectations 107.2 99.9 91.2 83.8 82.1

West South Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 108.0 95.5 95.0 103.4 92.9
 Present Situation 92.5 83.4 80.4 95.7 89.7
 Expectations 118.3 103.6 104.8 108.6 95.0

Mountain
 Consumer Confidence Index 119.0 104.3 98.4 100.2 99.3
 Present Situation 102.6 93.2 92.0 106.4 98.3
 Expectations 130.0 111.7 102.6 96.1 100.0

Pacific
 Consumer Confidence Index 96.9 94.1 93.2 93.3 96.1
 Present Situation 75.1 80.6 78.4 77.9 82.5
 Expectations 111.5 103.1 103.1 103.5 105.1

Seasonally unadjusted
Index numbers: 2004
U.S. Average, 1985 = 100 June July Aug. Sept. Oct.

New England
 Consumer Confidence Index 100.1 101.4 82.3 77.1 87.7
 Present Situation 101.0 102.9 95.5 83.3 91.4
 Expectations 99.6 100.3 73.5 72.9 85.3

Middle Atlantic
 Consumer Confidence Index 82.9 89.5 84.9 89.0 78.9
 Present Situation 83.1 92.4 92.3 80.7 86.5
 Expectations 82.8 87.5 80.0 94.6 73.9

East North Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 79.8 87.4 82.2 77.4 78.0
 Present Situation 82.6 79.7 73.6 69.1 80.5
 Expectations 78.0 92.5 88.0 82.9 76.4

West North Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 100.0 109.9 96.0 95.1 93.7
 Present Situation 108.6 116.5 100.5 103.1 104.4
 Expectations 94.3 105.6 92.9 89.8 86.6

South Atlantic
 Consumer Confidence Index 118.8 117.5 104.1 110.8 113.4
 Present Situation 134.7 127.5 116.6 122.1 120.4
 Expectations 108.2 110.9 95.8 103.3 108.7

East South Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 105.1 104.2 97.9 89.4 105.0
 Present Situation 115.3 107.7 99.4 101.2 112.2
 Expectations 98.3 101.8 96.9 81.6 100.2

West South Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 109.3 104.6 106.4 107.8 106.3
 Present Situation 110.3 110.4 104.8 103.2 108.8
 Expectations 108.7 100.7 107.5 110.9 104.6

Mountain
 Consumer Confidence Index 122.0 112.7 106.1 116.0 111.0
 Present Situation 127.7 118.7 109.5 137.9 115.4
 Expectations 118.2 108.7 103.9 101.5 108.1

Pacific
 Consumer Confidence Index 103.3 111.4 104.4 106.3 102.2
 Present Situation 103.6 109.0 107.7 105.7 101.9
 Expectations 103.2 113.1 102.2 106.7 102.4

Seasonally unadjusted
Index numbers: 2004 2005
U.S. Average, 1985 = 100 Nov. Dec. Jan. (r) Feb. (p)

New England
 Consumer Confidence Index 88.5 102.4 98.9 110.8
 Present Situation 99.5 109.7 101.9 135.7
 Expectations 81.2 97.6 96.9 94.3

Middle Atlantic
 Consumer Confidence Index 67.9 83.7 86.7 85.8
 Present Situation 66.4 94.8 84.0 80.6
 Expectations 69.0 76.3 88.5 89.2

East North Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 80.7 80.0 87.0 81.9
 Present Situation 77.2 67.6 79.7 75.5
 Expectations 83.1 88.2 91.9 86.2

West North Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 103.9 111.1 104.7 119.8
 Present Situation 120.9 112.6 101.3 136.6
 Expectations 92.6 110.2 107.0 108.6

South Atlantic
 Consumer Confidence Index 112.2 118.2 114.5 121.3
 Present Situation 129.3 135.8 132.0 139.3
 Expectations 100.8 106.5 102.8 109.3

East South Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 100.2 100.6 115.6 100.8
 Present Situation 109.1 110.3 123.1 102.5
 Expectations 94.2 94.2 110.7 99.7

West South Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 107.7 107.8 125.7 112.2
 Present Situation 115.8 121.0 128.8 107.7
 Expectations 102.3 99.0 123.7 115.2

Mountain
 Consumer Confidence Index 95.1 121.4 119.2 117.4
 Present Situation 110.1 134.6 126.1 125.6
 Expectations 85.1 112.6 114.5 111.9

Pacific
 Consumer Confidence Index 98.2 102.9 110.6 102.6
 Present Situation 96.8 109.2 108.8 103.2
 Expectations 99.2 98.7 111.8 102.2

Seasonally unadjusted 3-MONTH AVG.
Index numbers: Dec.,Jan.,Feb. Percent
U.S. Average, 1985 = 100 2004 2005 Change

New England
 Consumer Confidence Index 90.7 104.0 14.7
 Present Situation 69.3 115.7 67.0
 Expectations 104.9 96.2 -8.3

Middle Atlantic
 Consumer Confidence Index 78.1 85.4 9.3
 Present Situation 63.0 86.5 37.1
 Expectations 88.1 84.7 -3.9

East North Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 81.7 83.0 1.6
 Present Situation 58.5 74.3 26.9
 Expectations 97.1 88.8 -8.6

West North Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 94.7 111.9 18.1
 Present Situation 80.3 116.8 45.4
 Expectations 104.3 108.6 4.1

South Atlantic
 Consumer Confidence Index 107.1 118.0 10.1
 Present Situation 106.7 135.7 27.2
 Expectations 107.4 106.2 -1.1

East South Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 92.8 105.7 13.9
 Present Situation 81.2 111.9 37.9
 Expectations 100.5 101.5 1.1

West South Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 101.1 115.2 14.0
 Present Situation 86.1 119.1 38.4
 Expectations 111.1 112.6 1.4

Mountain
 Consumer Confidence Index 109.5 119.3 9.0
 Present Situation 95.9 128.8 34.3
 Expectations 118.5 113.0 -4.6

Pacific
 Consumer Confidence Index 93.9 105.4 12.2
 Present Situation 75.5 107.1 41.8
 Expectations 106.1 104.2 -1.8

* Percent Change: Average of last three months shown as compared with
the same period a year ago. Regional data are not adjusted for seasonal
variation.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Consumer Confidence Index
Author:Franco, Lynn
Publication:Consumer Confidence Survey
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2005
Words:3709
Previous Article:Consumers end 2004 on a high note.
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