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Consumer confidence as a predictor of consumption spending: evidence for the United States and the euro area

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  • Dées, Stéphane
  • Soares Brinca, Pedro

Abstract

For most academics and policy makers, the depth of the 2007-09 financial crisis, its longevity and its impacts on the real economy resulted from an erosion of confidence. This paper proposes to assess empirically the link between consumer sentiment and consumption expenditures for the United States and the euro area. It shows under which circumstances confidence indicators can be a good predictor of household consumption even after controlling for information in economic fundamentals. Overall, the results show that the consumer confidence index can be in certain circumstances a good predictor of consumption. In particular, out-of-sample evidence shows that the contribution of confidence in explaining consumption expenditures increases when household survey indicators feature large changes, so that confidence indicators can have some increasing predictive power during such episodes. Moreover, there is some evidence of a "confidence channel" in the international transmission of shocks, as U.S. confidence indices lead consumer sentiment in the euro area. JEL Classification: C32, E17, F37, F42

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1349.

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Date of creation: Jun 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20111349

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Keywords: Consumer Confidence; Consumption; international linkages; Non-linear modeling;

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  1. Burbidge, John & Harrison, Alan, 1985. "An historical decomposition of the great depression to determine the role of money," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 45-54, July.
  2. Jeff Dominitz & Charles F. Manski, 2004. "How Should We Measure Consumer Confidence?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(2), pages 51-66, Spring.
  3. Claveria, Oscar & Pons, Ernest & Ramos, Raul, 2007. "Business and consumer expectations and macroeconomic forecasts," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 47-69.
  4. Jason Bram & Sydney Ludvigson, 1998. "Does consumer confidence forecast household expenditure? a sentiment index horse race," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Jun, pages 59-78.
  5. Acemoglu, Daron & Scott, Andrew, 1994. "Consumer Confidence and Rational Expectations: Are Agents' Beliefs Consistent with the Theory?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(422), pages 1-19, January.
  6. Fagan, Gabriel & Henry, Jérôme & Mestre, Ricardo, 2001. "An area-wide model (AWM) for the euro area," Working Paper Series 0042, European Central Bank.
  7. Easaw, Joshy Z. & Heravi, Saeed M., 2004. "Evaluating consumer sentiments as predictors of UK household consumption behavior: Are they accurate and useful?," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 671-681.
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Cited by:
  1. Stéphane Dées & Jochen Güntner, 2014. "The International Dimension of Confidence Shocks," Economics working papers 2014-05, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  2. Marija Kuzmanovic & Peter Sanfey, 2013. "Can Consumer Confidence Data Predict Real Variables? Evidence from Croatia," Croatian Economic Survey, The Institute of Economics, Zagreb, vol. 15(1), pages 5-24, April.

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