There is a tangible slowing in the consumer confidence index, to 92.2 in February vs January’s downward revised 97.8. Readings are broadly lower but only slightly lower for the most closely watched detail of the report which is jobs hard to get, rising 6 tenths to 24.2 percent which is still a very low reading and isn’t convincing enough to point to a rise in the unemployment rate.
Other readings show slightly more erosion but nothing dramatic. Income expectations are still positive but slightly less so as are expectations for business conditions. Expectations for the jobs market have been on the pessimistic side in this report and slightly more so in todays report.
Buying plans are mostly lower especially for housing which won’t give a boost to what is no more than a moderate housing outlook. And in another sign of weakness, inflation expectations continue to tick lower, down 1 tenth for the fourth straight decline to a 4.7 percent rate which for this reading is very low.