Following the growth in the U.S consumer confidence index during December, this index changed direction and decreased in January.
According to the recent U.S. consumer confidence survey, the consumer confidence index declined in January compared with December’s index: The index reached in December to 61.1 (1985=100) a decrease from 64.8 in December. American consumers’ short term outlook in U.S. business conditions has also weakened according to the report. Furthermore, the consumers’ assessment of current business and labor conditions also fell in January.
Note, this report was based on a survey conducted up to January 19th. In the past couple of weeks the situation seems didn’t improve much in the financial markets, (e.g. the American stock markets indexes fell) so this turn of events might negatively affect the February survey.
This consumer confidence index may curb the recent rally in the natural gas prices: according to a study, there was a positive significant correlation between the “consumer confidence” news and natural gas prices i.e. this news has a positive linear correlation with natural gas prices. Furthermore, the study also suggested a positive significant coefficient between this news and crude oil prices.
Currently major energy commodities are trading up:
Current Nymex crude oil price, short term futures (February 2012 delivery) is traded up by 1.15% to $99.92 per barrel as of 15:46*.
Current gold price, short term futures (February 2012 delivery) is traded at $1,741.4 per t oz. a $7 increase as of 15:41*.
Euro to US dollar exchange rate is at 1.3090 a 0.4059% decrease as of 15:52*.
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