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Expenditure, Confidence, and Uncertainty: Identifying Shocks to Consumer Confidence Using Daily Data




The importance of consumer confidence in stimulating economic activity is a disputed issue in macroeconomics. Do changes in confidence represent autonomous fluctuations in optimism, independent of information on economic fundamentals, or are they a reflection of economic news? I study this question by using high-frequency microdata on spending and consumer confidence, and I find that consumer confidence contains information relevant to predicting spending, independent from other indicators. The exogenous movements in consumer confidence lead to very short fluctuations in consumer spending, consistent with the hypothesis that more consumer confidence reflects less uncertainty about the future.

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  • Marta Lachowska, 2013. "Expenditure, Confidence, and Uncertainty: Identifying Shocks to Consumer Confidence Using Daily Data," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 13-197, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:upj:weupjo:13-197

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. John Bagnall & David Bounie & Kim P. Huynh & Anneke Kosse & Tobias Schmidt & Scott Schuh, 2016. "Consumer Cash Usage: A Cross-Country Comparison with Payment Diary Survey Data," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 12(4), pages 1-61, December.

    More about this item


    Expenditure; consumer confidence; vector autoregression;

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models

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