Consumer confidence surveys provide an indicator of consumer expectations and can give insight into markets for housing, goods and services. Though in a typical consumer confidence survey, consumers are asked questions about their outlook for the future, aggregates of their responses are thought to serve generally as lagging indicators of economic growth.
The best known include:
- The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index – conducted monthly; the best known and most influential consumer confidence survey. (I probably should mention that I did some work for TNS in college.)
- The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index – also conducted monthly and well known.
Some slightly less well-known consumer confidence surveys include:
- The MasterCard MasterIndex – a series of semiannual surveys conducted among consumers in African and Asian countries, as well as the Pacific.
- The ABC News Consumer Comfort Index – updated weekly.
- The RBC U.S. Consumer Outlook Index – conducted monthly among U.S. consumers for the Royal Bank of Canada.
- The IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index – conducted monthly, claims to be released earlier each month than any other consumer confidence index.
- The Sienna Research Institute Consumer Confidence Index – covers monthly consumer confidence in New York state.
- The Gallup Economic Confidence Index – by the most respected name in polling. Updated daily.
- The Rasmussen Consumer Index – by a fairly respected polling firm. Updated daily on a three-day average with monthly readings. Rasmussen also compiles the monthly COUNTRY Financial Security Index.
Unofficial aggregate time series for the ABC, IBD/TIPP and RBC consumer confidence polls are available at Polling Report.