Reports recently released by The Conference Board, an independent business membership and research association, reflect that the Consumer Confidence Index has increased for the first time in five months. According to a Bloomberg Businessweek article, July’s increase to 65.9 surprised analysts who had projected an even lower number. In June, the Index was 62.7.
While the improvement is good news, the index still isn’t showing robust confidence. The
Consumer Confidence Survey summary on The Conference Board’s website explains that typically, confidence in a healthy US economy is depicted by a number over 90, which we haven’t seen since 2007. Still, 65.9 is way above our lowest dip, 25.3, in February 2009. The economy and, more importantly, consumer confidence in the economy is gaining ground in the right direction.
Some important contributing factors to the consumer confidence increase include a more stable stock market, lower energy prices, and stabilized gasoline prices. The housing market is showing signs of recovering with national prices rising 2.2 percent, according to Standard & Poor’s/Case-Schiller home price index.
Unfortunately, in spite of the increase in consumer confidence, consumer spending has been sluggish. Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board was quoted in the Bloomberg article as having said, “‘…while consumers expressed greater optimism about short-term business and employment prospects, they have grown more pessimistic about their earnings. Given the current economic environment — in particular the weak labor market — consumer confidence is not likely to gain any significant momentum in the coming months.’"
Perhaps the most alarming portion of The Conference Board’s report is the portion that reflects that CEO confidence declined in July, falling to 47 (>50 positive survey responses). This measure fell from 63 last quarter. Only 22 percent of business leaders believe conditions have improved from six months ago, and only one quarter of CEOs expect economic improvements in their own industries. Forecasting to next July, 64 percent of CEOs expect profits will increase, and of those, 46 percent believe market demand/growth will be the primary factor. The second highest factor cited by 29 percent of CEOs surveyed had to do with cost savings.
At Vendere Partners, we know first hand that the majority of consumers, including end users and those operating within B2B sectors, are still holding tightly to their wallets, despite the positive changes in the economic climate. In order to meet the demands of B2B companies, in particular, Vendere has worked tirelessly to enhance and add to its lead generation offerings and capabilities. As a result, Vendere has been able to help a significant number of technology and Fortune 100 companies achieve better sales numbers than predicted, and also, to maintain Vendere’s impressive growth rate.
If your company is having difficulty keeping its sales funnel full of qualified leads, setting appointments with sales-ready decision makers, or pushing leads through the sales cycle, contact Vendere. Vendere is in tune with market trends, maintains a proprietary database of over 4,000,000 contacts, and has proven it has the technology and processes in place to help companies grow even when consumer and CEO confidence in the economy is low.
To read The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Survey summary, click here.
To read the full Bloomberg Businessweek article, click here.