January 29, 2013 Though there have been other signs to indicate that the economy is on the upswing, many Americans aren't feeling all that good about how things are going.The private Conference Board reports that its widely watched consumer confidence index fell to 58.6 in January from 66.7 in December.
December 27, 2012 Many Americans appear to be worried about what will happen to the economy if the federal government goes over the so-called fiscal cliff, the Conference Board reports. But there's also good news: The housing sector continues to recover.
If they're confident, they will shop: Two women carry shopping bags down Manhattan's 34th St. last week.
Andrew Kelly/Getty Images
November 27, 2012 Consumers purchase more than two-thirds of all goods and services. If they're feeling better, that's a good omen for the overall economy.
"Black Friday" 2011 in Manhattan. Will consumers come out in force this holiday season? Their confidence was high in October.
Michael Nagle/Getty Images
November 1, 2012 Many Americans are feeling more upbeat about the economy, according to the latest report from the Conference Board. That could bode well for the 2012 holiday shopping season.
Hitting the mall: Spending rose in September.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
October 29, 2012 There was a 0.8 percent rise from August to September. Since consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of economic activity, it is crucial.
"Black Friday" 2011 in Manhattan: Retailers hope to see shoppers out again in force this holiday season. If confidence stays high, they may get their wish.
Michael Nagle/Getty Images
October 12, 2012 The rise could spell good news for the economy if it means the crucial holiday shopping season will bring strong sales for retailers. It also might be an indicator of how voters will be feeling when they go to the polls.
May 29, 2012 While one group's measure hit its highest level since 2007, another's declined in May.
If consumers are in the mood to shop, that could give the economy a lift.
Scott Olson/Getty Images
May 25, 2012 According to the latest Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan survey, confidence has risen to a level not seen since late 2007. And if confidence is on the rise, that could affect both the economy and the 2012 campaign.
April 24, 2012 After a slight decline in March, the widely watched consumer confidence index from the private Conference Board "was virtually unchanged in April," the research group reports.
January 31, 2012 An increase in gas prices may have tempered consumers' confidence.
December 27, 2011 The Conference Board's gauge of consumer sentiment is back at a level not seen since last April. That could bode well for consumer spending — and the economy in general — in coming months.
November 29, 2011 The sharp rise may be a sign that consumers are growing less anxious about the economy. But the widely watched index is still well below boom-time levels.
October 25, 2011 The widely watched consumer confidence index from the Conference Board has fallen to a level not seen since the economy was officially in recession two years ago.
August 30, 2011 A widely watched gauge of consumers' mood is at a two-year low. That could be a warning sign for consumer spending in coming months.
June 28, 2011 Since consumers buy about 70 percent of all goods and services, their mood is a critical indicator of how strong the economy will be in coming months. The index that gauges confidence is more than 40 points below the reading for a healthy economy.
NPR thanks our sponsors
Become an NPR sponsor