The determinants of consumer confidence: the case of United States and Belgium
The paper is dealing with the controversial question of the potential impact of stock market fluctuations on consumer confidence. In the last few years, this confidence index has gained importance in business cycle analysis and empirical evidence has shown its explanatory power in forecasting consumption along with standard macroeconomic variables. Meanwhile, numerous interpretations of its fluctuations arose, and few were based on a solid argumentation. Therefore, we propose in this paper to determine which elements are actually driving the confidence index. Using the standard error-correction mechanism model and non-linear methods, we analyze the relationship between the confidence index and several economic variables, over the period ranging from January 1983 to December 2001. As a growing number of economic observers claim the stock market fluctuations have a strong impact on consumer confidence, we especially focus on this potential impact. The models are estimated for the United States and for Belgium for which the importance of equities in the households net wealth is quite different. We find in particular that stock market fluctuations have explanatory power in the evolution of consumer confidence in the United States, especially since the beginning of the nineties.
|Date of creation:||00 Jul 2003|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Voie du Roman Pays 34, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium)|
Fax: +32 10474304
Web page: http://www.uclouvain.be/core
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- 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.
- Jason Bram & Sydney Ludvigson, 1997. "Does consumer confidence forecast household expenditure?: A sentiment index horse race," Research Paper 9708, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
- Sydney Ludvigson & Charles Steindel, 1999. "How important is the stock market effect on consumption?," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Jul, pages 29-51.
- Sydney Ludvigson & Charles Steindel, 1998. "How important is the stock market effect on consumption?," Research Paper 9821, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
- Carroll, Christopher D & Fuhrer, Jeffrey C & Wilcox, David W, 1994. "Does Consumer Sentiment Forecast Household Spending? If So, Why?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1397-1408, December.
- Christopher D. Carroll & Jeffrey C. Fuhrer & David W. Wilcox, 1991. "Does consumer sentiment affect household spending? If so why?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 168, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Christopher D. Carroll & Jeffery C. Fuhrer & David W. Wilcox, 1994. "RATS code for Does Consumer Sentiment Forecast Household Spending? If So, Why?," QM&RBC Codes 49, Quantitative Macroeconomics & Real Business Cycles.
- James M. Poterba, 2000. "Stock Market Wealth and Consumption," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(2), pages 99-118, Spring. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)