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• The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index and the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index are the two most closely watched leading indicators for the US economy from the perspective of the consumer.
• Both consumer indices are a barometer of the public confidence in the US economy, gauging current consumer attitudes and expectations about future economic conditions.• The present condition components of the two composite indices have a different cyclical behavior at turning points of economic activity, as the Conference Board’s present situation component is more closely tied to labor market conditions.
• According to our research, the expectations components of each of the two composite indices have the strongest predictive ability for changes in real personal consumption and industrial production in the following month.