The Conference Board

Consumer Confidence Plunges as Payroll Tax Holiday Ends

U.S. consumer confidence plunged in January to its lowest level in more than a year, reflecting the cut to take-home pay nearly all working Americans were hit with after Washington allowed a temporary Social Security payroll tax holiday to expire.

Retail Sales Up 1.1% in September

Americans stepped up their spending at retail businesses in September, reflecting their growing confidence in the economy. Retail sales rose 1.1 percent last month, the Commerce Department said. That followed a 1.2 percent increase in August. Both were the largest gains since October 2010.

Initial Jobless Claims Hit a 5-Week High

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose last week to a five-week high, evidence that the job market remains sluggish. The Labor Department said weekly applications for unemployment aid rose 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 383,000.

Index of Leading Economic Indicators Rises

The Conference Board's Leading Economic Indicators Index rose 0.9% in October, outpacing increases in the previous two months and providing some grounds for hope of more robust economic growth to come.

Consumers Sense Change as Confidence Jumps

The Conference Board's closely watched index unexpectedly surged 7.3 points to 60.3 in January -- rising to its highest level since May -- as Americans%u2019 started 2011 optimistic that both the job market and U.S. economy would continue to improve.

Two More Reports Confirm a Slowing U.S. Economy

The latest Leading Economic Indicators reading and regional Philly Fed Index provide further evidence of weaker economic growth. And that complicates policymakers' efforts to lower the nation's high unemployment rate.

Consumer Confidence Hits Five-Month Low

The downward slide in consumer confidence continued in July as the main confidence index fell to a five-month low, providing yet another sign that the U.S. economic recovery may have lost some of its momentum. The big concern for Americans? No, surprise, it's still jobs.

2010 Raises Will Barely Cover Inflation

Raises for U.S. workers may barely keep pace with inflation in 2010: The average company will budget just 2.8% of its salary pool for wage increases - the first time in more than two decades that number has fallen below 3%.

Leading Economic Indicators Rise Once Again

The Conference Board's closely-watched index of leading economic indicators rose a better-than-expected 0.9 percent in November. The Federal Reserve's survey of manufacturing activity in the mid-Atlantic states also climbed.