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Seems the Family of Economic Indices Has the Flu as Well?

NEW YORK, Jan. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®, which had declined in December, fell further in January.

The Consumer Confidence Index now stands at 58.6 (1985=100), down from 66.7 in December.

The Expectations Index declined to 59.5 from 68.1.

The Present Situation Index decreased to 57.3 from 64.6 last month.

The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey®, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch.

The cutoff date for the preliminary results was January 17.

Says Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board: “Consumer Confidence posted another sharp decline in January, erasing all of the gains made through 2012.

“Consumers are more pessimistic about the economic outlook and, in particular, their financial situation.

“The increase in the payroll tax has undoubtedly dampened consumers’ spirits and it may take a while for confidence to rebound and consumers to recover from their initial paycheck shock.”

Current Condtions

Consumers’ appraisal of current conditions deteriorated in January.

Those that state business conditions are…

  • good declined to 16.7% from 17.2%
  • bad increased to 27.4% from 26.3%

Labor Market

Consumers’ assessment of the labor market has also grown more negative.

Those saying jobs are

  • plentiful declined to 8.6% from 10.8%
  • hard to get increased to 37.7% from 36.1%

Consumer Optimism

Consumers’ optimism about the short-term outlook continued to deteriorate in January.

Those expecting business conditions over the next 6 months to

  • improve declined to 15.4% from 18.1%
  • worsen declined slightly to 20.6% from 21.1%

Labor Market Outlook

Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was more pessimistic.

In the months ahead, those anticipating

  • more jobs declined to 14.3% from 17.9%
  • fewer jobs remained virtually unchanged at 27.0%

The proportion of consumers expecting their incomes to

  • decline rose to 22.9% from 19.1%
  • increase declined to 13.6% from 15.6%

More On This Topic

For any investor, understanding the expected rewards that markets offer is central to long-term investment success.

The traditional paradigm for assessing expected returns has focussed on historical performance and asset class management.

However, Antti Ilmanen contends that this approach to investment decision-making is too narrow in its asset class focus and in the inputs used for assessing expected returns.

He challenges investors to broaden their perspectives in two ways:

  • Excess returns should be harvested from diverse sources — strategy styles and risk factors, as well as asset classes, are sources of return, thus warranting three-dimensional analysis of investments
  • Any investment’s return prospects should be judged in a way that incorporates all knowledge, including historical experience, financial and behavioral theories, and current market conditions, without being overly dependent on any one of these

Beginning with comprehensive introduction and overview, Expected Returns goes on to analyze the historical record, give a roadmap of terminology, explore rational and behavioral theories, and look at alternative interpretations for return predictability.

A series of case studies provide detailed analysis of assets (equity, bond and credit risk premia, as well as alternative asset classes), dynamic strategy styles (value, carry, momentum, volatility) and underlying risk factors (growth, inflation, liquidity and tail risks), before moving back to broader themes, including time-varying expected returns, and seasonal, cyclical and secular return patterns.

Concluding with a series of investment lessons, Expected Returns is the complete guide for the long-term investor, providing wide-ranging empirical evidence, and a platform for forecasting the expected returns of an investment portfolio for asset allocation and portfolio balancing purposes

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Expected Returns is a one-stop reference that gives investors a comprehensive toolkit for harvesting market rewards from a wide range of investments. Written by an experienced portfolio manager, scholar, strategist, investment advisor and hedge fund trader, this book challenges investors to broaden their minds from a too-narrow asset class perspective and excessive focus on historical performance.

Coverage includes major asset classes (stocks, bonds, alternatives), investment strategies (value, carry, momentum, volatility) and the effects of underlying risk factors (growth, inflation, illiquidity, tail risks).

Judging expected returns requires balancing historical returns with both theoretical considerations and current market conditions.

Expected Returns summarizes the state of knowledge on all of these topics, providing extensive empirical evidence, surveys of risk-based and behavioral theories, and practical insights.

Other Recommendations from Our Store

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SOURCE January 2013 Consumer Confidence Survey®; The Conference Board


Carol Courter, +1-212-339-0232,
Jonathan Liu, +1-212-339-0257,

Web Site :

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