Forecast: Based on a representative sample of thousands of mail-in surveys, the Conference Board index has the largest pooling sample of any US measure of consumer confidence. Consumer Confidence levels are generally linked with consumer spending.
For instance, when consumer confidence is on the rise consumer spending tends to increase. Low or falling consumer confidence on the other hand is typically associated with decreased spending and consumer demand.
Some analysts criticize the Consumer Confidence figure for its volatile tendencies and weak connection to household expenditure, turning instead to the University of Michigan Consumer Confidence numbers.
The volatility of the Consumer Confidence figure is attributed to two factors: its pooling size and the survey time frame focus.
The Conference Board surveys an entirely new group of people each month, resulting in more erratic month to month figures. Additionally, the survey queries respondents on expectations for the following advisor forex rating months, a relatively short term evaluation.
Conversely, the University of Michigan survey will re-poll many individuals and focuses on expectations for the next one to five years. The long term focus has a stabilizing effect on consumer confidence.
Survey results are printed in the headlines where reflects a recent base year.