US consumer confidence index at record high

Click to follow
The Independent Online

American consumers are more confident about the state of the US economy than at any time since records began, according to figures out yesterday. The consumer confidence index surged to 144.7, the highest level since it began in 1968. The report, combined with GDP figures on Friday that are expected to confirm the longest period of expansion in peacetime history, will fuel calls for more rate rises.

American consumers are more confident about the state of the US economy than at any time since records began, according to figures out yesterday. The consumer confidence index surged to 144.7, the highest level since it began in 1968. The report, combined with GDP figures on Friday that are expected to confirm the longest period of expansion in peacetime history, will fuel calls for more rate rises.

Consumers' assessment of current economic conditions jumped to another record high, while a gauge of expectations six months ahead also rose. The number of respondents who said jobs were plentiful rose to a record 54.2 per cent. Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board Research Centre, which compiled the report, said: "People looking for confirmation that the consumer confidence bubble will soon burst have a further wait in store."

The first estimate of economic growth for the last quarter of 1999 is expected to show a 5.4 per cent expansion following 5.7 per cent in the third quarter. This would be a record 107th month of growth.

The Fed meets to decide interest rates on 1 and 2 February. Fed chairman Alan Greenspan, was to have appeared before the Senate Budget Committee today to discuss the economic and budget outlook. But the hearing was postponed as heavy snowstorms struck the East coast.

Meanwhile, the White House said President Clinton's proposed budget for 2001 will pay off the $3.6 trillion national debt by 2013, two years early.

Comments