Consumer confidence makes a comeback
After two months of decline in the wake of the partial government shutdown, consumer confidence has bounced back to its highest level since September, according to The Conference Board.
December’s index came in at 78.1, up from an upwardly revised figure of 72.0 in November and 72.4 in October.
“Consumer confidence rebounded in December and is now close to pre-government shutdown levels (September 2013, 80.2)," said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators. "Sentiment regarding current conditions increased to a 5 ½ year high (April 2008, 81.9), with consumers attributing the improvement to more favorable economic and labor market conditions. Looking ahead, consumers expressed a greater degree of confidence in future economic and job prospects, but were moderately more pessimistic about their earning prospects. Despite the many challenges throughout 2013, consumers are in better spirits today than when the year began.”
As Franco acknowledged, the Present Situation Index increased to 76.2 from 73.5. This was predicated on a decrease in those claiming business conditions are "good," but an even larger decrease in those claiming they were "bad." Consumers were also more optimistic about the availability of jobs.
Looking ahead, the Expectations Index was up at 79.4, compared to 71.1 last month. More consumers expect business conditions to improve over the next six months, and the number of those expecting them to worsen was down by nearly 2 percentage points.
The greatest gain was in the labor market outlook, with those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead increasing from 13.1% to 17.1%. However, fewer consumers expected their incomes to increase in the short-term.
Overall consumer confidence reached a peak in June 2013, when it stood at 82.1.
Sioux Chief boosts lead-free information
Rough plumbing manufacturer, Sioux Chief, announced its 2014 Lead Free product list, which allows contractors and wholesalers to compare old leaded item numbers with new Lead Free item numbers quickly and easily, the company said.
“The Lead Free product list is a simple and convenient way to see Sioux Chief plumbing products, which have transitioned to Lead Free materials as a result of theReduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act or Federal Public Law 111-380,” said Rex Baer, VP of product development at Sioux Chief.
Sioux Chief created a new landing page, http://www.leadfreetransition.com, to host the online reference list for all potable water products (drinking water pipes, pipe fittings, and plumbing fixtures).
“The one-stop directory to all new Lead Free products makes it easy for contractors and wholesalers to find what they need now,” Baer said. “And they can rely on getting a Sioux Chief product with the same American made quality.”