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Examining the Strong Comeback of the US Economy: The Role of Consumer Confidence and Feasibility Studies in Business Loans

The Consumer Confidence Survey® reflects prevailing business conditions and likely developments for the months ahead. This monthly report details consumer attitudes, buying intentions, vacation plans, and consumer expectations for inflation, stock prices, and interest rates. Data are available by age, income, 9 regions, and top 8 states.


Consumers End 2023 with a Surge in Confidence and Restored Optimism For 2024

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® increased in December to 110.7 (1985=100), up from a downwardly revised 101.0 in November. The Present Situation Index—based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions—rose to 148.5 (1985=100) from 136.5 last month. The Expectations Index—based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions—leapt to 85.6 (1985=100) in December, up from its downwardly revised reading of 77.4 in November. This sharp increase brings expectations back to the levels of optimism last seen in July of this year.


“December’s increase in consumer confidence reflected more positive ratings of current business conditions and job availability, as well as less pessimistic views of business, labor market, and personal income prospects over the next six months,” said Dana Peterson, Chief Economist at The Conference Board. “While December’s renewed optimism was seen across all ages and household income levels, the gains were largest among householders aged 35-54 and households with income levels of $125,000 and above. December’s write-in responses revealed the top issue affecting consumers remains rising prices in general, while politics, interest rates, and global conflicts all saw downticks as top concerns. Consumers’ Perceived Likelihood of a US Recession over the Next 12 Months abated in December to the lowest level seen this year—though two-thirds still perceive a downturn is possible in 2024.”



C  Consumer Confidence Improves December 2023
C Consumer Confidence Improves December 2023

Peterson added: “Assessments of the present situation rose in December, as seen by the more positive views of business conditions and the employment situation. By contrast, when asked to assess their current family financial conditions (a measure not included in calculating the Present Situation Index), the proportion reporting “good” ticked down while those saying “bad” rose slightly. This suggests consumers’ view of their current finances may paint a more tempered picture than the perception that overall conditions are better than a month ago.”


“Consumer expectations for the next six months also increased in December, reflecting improved confidence about future business conditions, job availability, and incomes. Expectations that interest rates will rise in the year ahead plummeted to the lowest levels since January 2021, and consumers’ outlook for stock prices rose to levels of optimism last seen in mid-2021. Meanwhile, average 12-month inflation expectations continued to recede, and now stands at 5.6 percent. Consumers’ views of their expected family financial situation, six months hence (not included in calculating the Expectations Index) also improved in December. Likewise, on a month-to-month basis, buying plans for autos, homes, and big-ticket appliances rose moderately across the board, ending the year on a slightly more positive note.”


Present Situation

Consumers’ assessment of current business conditions was more positive in December.

  • 21.7% of consumers said business conditions were “good,” up from 18.6% in November.

  • 16.5% said business conditions were “bad,” down from 18.9%.

Consumers’ appraisal of the labor market was also more positive in December.

  • 40.7% of consumers said jobs were “plentiful,” up from 38.6% in November.

  • 13.2% of consumers said jobs were “hard to get,” down from 15.6%.



US Consumer Confidence Forecast for 2024
US Consumer Confidence Forecast for 2024

Expectations Six Months Hence       

Consumers were less pessimistic about the short-term business conditions outlook in December.

  • 18.7% of consumers expect business conditions to improve, up from 17.2% in November.

  • 16.0% expect business conditions to worsen, down from 20.1%.

Consumers’ assessment of the short-term labor market outlook wasmore optimistic in December.

  • 17.8% of consumers expect more jobs to be available, up from 16.7% in November.

  • 17.2% anticipate fewer jobs, down from 20.1%.

Consumers’ assessment of their short-term income prospects improved in December.

  • 18.7% of consumers expect their incomes to increase, up from 17.7% in November.

  • 12.6% expect their incomes to decrease, virtually unchanged from 12.7%.

Assessment of Family Finances and Recession Risk

Consumers’ assessment of their Family’s Current Financial Situation pulled back slightly in December.



US Family's Current Financial Situation December 2023
US Family's Current Financial Situation December 2023
  • However, consumers became considerably more optimistic in December when assessing their Family’s Expected Financial Situation, Six Months Hence.


US Family's Expected Financial Situation, Six Months
US Family's Expected Financial Situation, Six Months

  • Consumers’ Perceived Likelihood of a US Recession over the Next 12 Months abated in December to the lowest levels seen this year—though two-thirds still perceive a downturn is possible.


Consumers’ Perceived Likelihood of a US Recession over the Next 12 Months abated in December 2023
Consumers’ Perceived Likelihood of a US Recession over the Next 12 Months abated in December 2023

The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey®, based on an online sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Toluna, a technology company that delivers real-time consumer insights and market research through its innovative technology, expertise, and panel of over 36 million consumers. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was December 14.


Source: December 2023 Consumer Confidence Survey®

The Conference Board

 

The Conference Board publishes the Consumer Confidence Index® at 10 a.m. ET on the last Tuesday of every month. Subscription information and the technical notes to this series are available on The Conference Board website: https://www.conference-board.org/data/consumerdata.cfm.

 

Further information:Jonathan Liu (732) 991-1754 / JLiu@tcb.org  

Joseph DiBlasi (781) 308-7935 / JDiblasi@tcb.org

About The Conference Board

The Conference Board is the member-driven think tank that delivers Trusted Insights for What’s Ahead™. Founded in 1916, we are a non-partisan, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States. ConferenceBoard.org.   

  © The Conference Board 2024


Demand for SBA Loans, USDA Loans and Commercial Loans in 2024

This improvement in Consumer Confidence is a positive indicator. Now, if the Prime Rate is reduced from the current 8.50 percent, hopefully demand for loans will improve in 2024.


Prime Rate Historical Table

WSJ Prime Rate Current and Historical Table
WSJ Prime Rate Current and Historical Table

September 29, 2023 Small Business News

Small Business Lending Demand Continues to Decline

New small business commercial and industrial (C&I) lending continued to decline in the second quarter, decreasing 16.8 percent from the same period in 2022 and 1.2 percent from the previous quarter.



US Small Business Loans Decline in 2023
US Small Business Loans Decline in 2023

2024 Commercial Loan Demand Forecast

Economic conditions concerning commercial loans at the end of 2023 indicated a liquidity problem among borrowers as reported by the Federal Reserve. Overall application approval rates slightly declined. The most cited reason for denying a loan was borrower financials (66 percent). Other commonly cited reasons were credit history and collateral.


About 28 percent of respondents reported a change in credit standards in the second quarter, down from 36 percent in the first quarter. Of those indicating a change in credit standards, 25 percent, on net, reported tightening credit standards (red bar). This is the seventh consecutive quarter that respondents have reported tightening credit standards and is consistent with the tightening credit standards reported on the External LinkJuly 2023 Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices.


On net, respondents indicated that all loan terms tightened with the cost of credit lines and the spreads of loan rates over cost of funds tightening the most. About 87 percent of respondents cited less favorable or more uncertain economic outlook as a somewhat important or very important reason for tightening. Other commonly cited reasons were worsening of industry-specific problems and reduced tolerance for risk.


Other contributors to the release include Lauren Bennett, Nicholas Bloom, Thomas Hobson, Alli Jakubek, Stefan Jacewitz, Emily Robinson, and Tony Walker.



Assistant Vice President Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Oklahoma City Branch
Assistant Vice President Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Oklahoma City Branch



Assistant Vice President

Dustyn DeSpain is an Assistant Vice President in the Supervision and Risk Management (SRM) Division. He leads various aspects of Supervision Product Management (SPM) and oversees SRM's Statistics and Data Management (SDM) function, including authoring the Small Business Lending Survey release and administering its data collection.

Mr. DeSpain joined the Bank in 2011 as an assistant examiner in the Exams and Inspections Department at the Oklahoma City Branch and earned his commission in 2013. He rotated to SPM in 2015 and was promoted to manager in 2016. In 2018, he received the Federal Reserve System's prestigious William Taylor Award for Excellence in Banking Supervision for serving as a business technology expert to influence the end vision for technology tools used by consumer compliance examiners. Before joining the Bank, he spent several years at Arvest Bank. He was promoted to his current position in August 2021.

Mr. DeSpain holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and a master’s in business administration from the University of Oklahoma.


What this Means to You and Your Project - The Need for a Feasibility Study

Demand for SBA loans and USDA loans and other Commercial Bank Loans appears to have remained steady, yet approvals are down because of lack of liquidity according to the Federal Reserve. Loan underwriting has become tight.


Your loan application is among many and its needs to be supported by a feasibility study provided by a credible source such as Feasibility-Study.com. A strong feasibility study alone will be get the deal done, but without it, your chances are decreased.


Publisher Details: SBA Feasibility Study Consultants: USDA Feasibility Study Consultants: Feasibility-Study.comhttps://www.feasibility-study.com/


Unlock the potential of your business with Feasibility-Study.com, the ultimate destination for comprehensive feasibility studies, empowering you to make informed decisions, maximize profitability, and shape a prosperous future. Join us in revolutionizing your business strategy today!



For more information on feasibility study and business plan contact us anytime.

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