The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had increased in December, retreated in January. The Index now stands at 61.1 (1985=100), down from 64.8 in December. The Present Situation Index declined to 38.4 from 46.5. The Expectations Index edged down to 76.2 from 77.0 in December.
Consumers’ appraisal of current conditions was less favorable in January, with those claiming business conditions are “good” decreasing to 13.3 percent from 16.3 percent, and those stating business conditions are “bad” increasing to 38.7 percent from 33.5 percent. Consumers’ assessment of the labor market also was less positive. Those saying jobs are “plentiful” decreased to 6.1 percent from 6.6 percent, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” increased to 43.5 percent from 41.6 percent.