Mixed Verdict For Consumer Confidence

Multiple consumer confidence numbers were released Tuesday, leading to much confusion for those who follow those indices.

The Conference Board released a report that U.S. consumer confidence had reached its highest level since early 2008. The Conference Board reported a number of 73.7, its highest since February of 2008, with January’s number revised upward. The University of Michigan report last week had found the highest confidence number in five years.

However, the Consumer Electronics Association’s measure of overall consumer confidence fell 15 points to its lowest level of the year, according to the CEA Index of Consumer Expectations (ICE).

“The economy continues to be a major factor in driving overall consumer sentiment. Recent CEA research showed that more than half of U.S. adults said the risks around the fiscal cliff would negatively impact their spending expectations this holiday season,” CEA economist Shawn DuBravac said in a statement.

“The media cycle moved from the election directly into the fiscal cliff and this month’s consumer sentiment suggests people are beginning to internalize what a negative outcome could mean to them.”

CEA also announced, however, that its CEA Index of Consumer Technology Expectations (ICTE) had risen 0.3 points in November.

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