Shoppers are more confident about the economy now than in the past 15 years, according to The Conference Board, a business research association. The Consumer Confidence Index, a measure of consumer savings and spending, hit 113.7 in December 2016. The last time confidence was this high was in August 2001, when it hit 114.
However, this positive outlook is in spite of consumer perception of current economic conditions. That assessment declined slightly. Those who believe business conditions are “good” dropped from 29.7% to 29.2%, and those who claim business conditions are “bad” increased from 15.2% to 17.3%.
The conflicting signals between negative attitudes toward current conditions and positive ones on consumer confidence indicate that the optimistic outlook on consumer confidence is somewhat tenuous.