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Present situation 33.4 vs 31.1; Expectations 95.1 vs 87.3.
Assessments of business and labor mkts improved moderately and buying plans improved for autos, homes, and appliances. 1y inflation expectation is 5.6%, absurdly high. Confidence improved for most income groups. Jobs Plentiful 4.9 vs 4.6; Jobs Hard to Get 45.7 vs 47.0, both improving. Conference Bd notes this level of confidence is at at 3-yr high as optimisim grows about the short-term future. They gave no reasons but perhaps this is related to rising stocks, reduced Social Sec. taxes and better headlines about the outlook. Offsets of higher gas prices and Mideast tensions might not have worked into the index, whose polling closed on Feb. 10.
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