White House touts highest consumer confidence in more than 2 years

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks at the St. John Baptist Church in Columbia, South Carolina, on Jan. 28, 2024.

Kent Nishimura | AFP | Getty Images

The White House cheered the Conference Board report on Tuesday showing consumer confidence rising to its highest level in more than two years.

“Under President Biden’s agenda for growth, consumer sentiment is turning the corner—reflecting the increase in wealth, wages, and employment relative to pre-pandemic,” National Economic Council Director Lael Brainard said in a statement following the report’s release.

Consumer confidence reached its highest level since December 2021, and was up more than 30% since its April 2020 low of 85.7.

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index rose for a third straight month to 114.8 in January, up from a revised 108 in December 2023. The monthly report from the research group reflects prevailing business conditions and expected development in the coming months.

Tuesday’s numbers were the latest opportunity for the Biden Administration to sell the president’s economic record ahead of the likely November election showdown with former President Donald Trump. Other recent economic reports have provided positive talking points with gross domestic product climbing at a better-than-expected annualized rate of 3.3% in the fourth quarter and inflation slowing since its 2022 high.

Despite the increasing consumer sentiment, just 33% of voters approve of Biden’s handling of the economy, according to CNBC’s All-America Economic Survey in December. Biden’s overall approval rating fell to 35%, the lowest CNBC has recorded in his presidency. When asked who they would support in a rematch between Biden and Trump in 2024, 48% of respondents said they would vote for Trump compared to 42% for Biden.

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