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.”
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)
Breaking News: @hedislimane joins @celine as its new artistic, creative and image director. One of fashion’s preeminent image-makers and trendsetters, Slimane is to join the LVMH brand on Feb. 1 and unveil his first fashion proposition for men and women next September during Paris Fashion Week. It marks a major homecoming for Slimane, who cemented his reputation – and influenced men’s tailoring for more than a decade – as the designer of Dior Homme between 2000 and 2007. He went on to reinvent and ignite the house of Yves Saint Laurent, which he rechristened Saint Laurent, between 2012 and 2016 – all the while maintaining a close relationship with the Arnault family, which controls LVMH and Dior. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
“Personally I believe the Eighties have been the richest and more vivacious period for international fashion,” Giorgio Armani said when asked what his favorite decade of fashion is. It was a moment of disruption and experimentation and only thinking back to the first years of that decade is always an emotion for me, for what they have meant to me and my work.” The influence is clear in @giorgioarmani spring 2018 collection, pictured here, which was full of bright colors and unexpected prints. Read more about which decades designers loved most on WWD.com #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
For Lady Gaga’s only Italian show on her “Joanne World Tour,” the singer wore a range of @versace_official outfits. The standout piece: this custom-made bodysuit inspired by the brand’s spring 2018 collection. #wwdfashion (RG: @ladygaga)
@_camillaruth_ is expanding on the wellness-craze concept with @westbourne – a new NYC restaurant that’s both a healthy-minded café as well as a business that gives back to the community. Marcus works with the Robin Hood foundation to give back to The Door, a non-profit providing youth development services, and also hires employees through The Door. Read our full interview with Marcus on giving back through food on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)