Yes. In June 2011, the Consumer Confidence Index again gave up some of its previous gains of the past 12 months. Today, the Index is only 8% higher than this time last year. While the consumer malaise certainly continues, the sensationalist current plunge into despair hyped by some in the media, is not evident.
10 years of consumer confidence
As people need to feel confident before investing in large purchases, like new homes, consumer confidence is a topic worthy of discussion. The graph below provides a perspective using the U.S. Consumer Confidence Index over the past tumultuous decade.
Some of the major events of the era are noted to illustrate their effects on how people feel. For example, when the US experiences a new war, natural disaster, or other severe crisis, the index gauges the reaction and eventual recovery. What it doesn’t show is how this process changes people.
Key Take-away: Today, the larger picture shows consumer confidence is slowly, hesitantly trending up. (click the graphic to enlarge)
Worth Visiting: The Conference Board