The Federal Reserve Bank of New York works to promote sound and well-functioning financial systems and markets through its provision of industry and payment services, advancement of infrastructure reform in key markets and training and educational support to international institutions.
The Outreach & Education function engages, empowers and educates the public in the Second District. Our outreach mission furthers the Bank’s commitment to the region by listening to the communities we serve and developing programs, analysis and sponsored conferences and clinics to help meet their needs. Our education mission aims to advance public knowledge about the Federal Reserve System and its role in the economy.
This article is the first formal investigation of consumer attitudes that compares the forecasting power of the University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment and the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index. The authors find that measures available from the Conference Board have both economically and statistically significant explanatory power for several categories of consumer spending. By contrast, measures available from the University of Michigan generally exhibit weaker forecasting power for most categories of spending. As part of their analysis, the authors examine the ways in which the surveys underlying these measures differ and test whether certain types of survey questions are particularly important for predicting consumer spending.