NEW YORK — Consumer confidence slipped in February, although it was still better than anticipated and higher than a year ago.
The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index stands at 104, down from 105.1 last month. The consensus among economists was for the Index to reach 103. In addition, January’s Index was revised higher to 105.1 from 103.4.
More troublesome is the Expectations Index, the component of the Consumer Confidence Index that measures consumers’ sentiments about the future. Expectations fell to 95.7 from 100.4 last month.
However, consumers on the whole were fairly confident about current economic conditions. The Present Situation component of the index jumped to 116.4 from 112.1.
“Although expectations cooled this month, consumers are more optimistic today than they were a year ago,” Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board’s Consumer Research Center, said in a statement. “Just as important, consumer confidence about current economic conditions, including the labor market, continues to gather momentum. Despite recent fluctuations, both present and future indicators point toward continued expansion in the months ahead.”
Consumer confidence is a closely watched indicator about the health of the economy. Consumer spending accounts for about two-thirds of the nation’s economic activity.
Consumers who said business conditions are “good” declined to 24.9 percent from 26.1 percent, while those who reported that conditions are “bad” fell to 15.6 percent from 18.1 percent. The employment picture also showed signs of strength. Those who said jobs are “hard to get” fell to 22.6 percent from 24.3 percent, while those surveyed who said jobs are “plentiful” remained essentially unchanged at 20.9 percent from 21 percent last month.
Economist Maury N. Harris at UBS noted in a research report on Tuesday that “consumers’ perceptions of the labor market still have not yet reflected the actual improvement in the unemployment rate that began in 2003. We expect the labor market to remain healthy in 2005. Most immediately, we are looking for a rise of 225,000 in payrolls in February, with the unemployment rate ticking up slightly to 5.3 percent after a 0.2 point drop in January.”
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion