Consumer optimism pushed higher than anticipated in January, after a surprise decline the previous month.
The Conference Board’s measure of consumer confidence rose to 125.4 in January, higher than the 123.1 anticipated by economists polled by Reuters. The measure had declined to 122.1 in December.
The key index rose to 129.5 in November, the highest mark since the index hit 132.6 in November 2000.’
“Expectations improved, though consumers were somewhat ambivalent about their income prospects over the coming months, perhaps the result of some uncertainty regarding the impact of the tax plan,” Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board, said in a statement.
“Consumers remain quite confident that the solid pace of growth seen in late 2017 will continue into 2018,” Franco said.
What will Brexit mean for the British economy?
Executives, forecasters and bankers have been trying to answer that question for at least two years. The U.K. government has done its own analysis, and a leaked draft Tuesday makes for ugly reading.
BuzzFeed reported that the government analysis suggests Brexit will reduce economic growth by between 2% and 8% over 15 years.
“This was initial work, not approved by ministers, which only considers off-the-shelf scenarios. No analysis was made of the bespoke [trade] arrangement we seek as a matter of government policy,” a spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May told reporters.
But never mind the future, there’s already plenty of evidence that the June 2016 vote by Britain to leave the European Union — by far its biggest export market — is already causing damage. And that’s with at least a year of fraught negotiations on the uncertain relationship between the U.K. and EU still to come.