The September 2012 Consumer Confidence Index surged +9.0 to 70.3 (preliminary) to a 7-month high, after descending to a 7-month low last month. Fickle Americans: last month Armageddon was on the horizon and this month happy days are here again! The September reading is below the 74.2 monthly average from January 2005 through August 2012. However, this reading is significantly above the dismal October 2011 reading of 40.9, which was a 30-month low, the lowest since April 2009. Compared to the Pre-Great Recession peak of 111.9 in July 2007 consumer confidence continues at historically low levels regardless of the monthly ups and downs.
Says Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, “The Consumer Confidence Index rebounded in September and is back to levels seen earlier this year (71.6 in February 2012). Consumers were more positive in their assessment of current conditions, in particular the job market, and considerably more optimistic about the short-term outlook for business conditions, employment and their financial situation. Despite continuing economic uncertainty, consumers are slightly more optimistic than they have been in several months.”
Consumer Confidence Index by Month The Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) reached a Post-Great Recession peak of 72.0 in February 2011. The Great Recession cyclical low was 25.3 in February 2009. The Pre-Great Recession peak was 111.9 in July 2007.
Consumer Confidence Index by Year For each year, the related months are averaged. The Great Recession low was in 2009 at a 45.2 average and the Post-Great Recession peak has been 2011 at a 58.2 average, which was a 4-year high. For the 9 months ended September 2012, consumer confidence is at a 5-year high of 66.2.