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TOMORROW’S CONSUMER CONFIDENCE OUTLOOK

Tomorrow we get the preliminary University of Michigan Confidence number for February. 

We get an early look at consumer confidence for the month of February from BIG Research.  Their survey reaches out to over 8,000 consumers each month.

As you can see from the chart below the two surveys very closely mirror each other.  In the Big Research survey, the wintery weather is dragging down consumer confidence.  Those consumers that are very confident/confident in chances for a strong economy dropped to 27.2% in February 2010, nearly three points lower than January 2010 (30.0%), and the lowest reading recorded since Jul-09 (also 27.2%). While confidence has improved from a year ago (19.4%) as well as Feb-08 (26.2%), keep in mind that the majority (53.2%) was confident back in Feb-07. 

If the relationship between the two surveys holds for the preliminary number tomorrow, we could be reading about a 3-4 point drop in the University of Michigan consumer confidence number.

The market stumble in late January and early February, coupled with a President whose approval ratings is uninspiring.  Given the surprising drop in the unemployment rate, a decline in consumer confidence could be unwelcome news.    

Howard Penney

Managing Director

TOMORROW’S CONSUMER CONFIDENCE OUTLOOK - big

TOMORROW’S CONSUMER CONFIDENCE OUTLOOK - michi