The Usefulness of Consumer Confidence Indexes in the United States

Brigitte Desroches & Marc-André Gosselin
This paper assesses the usefulness of consumer confidence indexes in forecasting aggregate consumer spending in the United States. The literature generally dismisses the relevance of these indexes. Without formal modelling, however, some researchers (Garner 1991 and Throop 1992) suggest that the indexes could be helpful during periods of major economic or political shocks. Such periods are usually associated with high volatility of consumer confidence, suggesting that large swings in confidence could be useful indicators of...
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