A survey, released weekly, that has information from interviews with about 1,000 adults nationwide that took place during the previous four weeks. Telephone survey respondents are asked to rate the national economy, the buying climate, and their personal financial condition, and they are asked if they agree with positive or negative comments about the economy. The most positive score the index can have is +100 and the most negative is –100. The index has a relatively low impact on the financial markets. However, if confidence shows a multi-week decline, it is viewed as an indicator that consumer spending will decline.
The data is not seasonally adjusted. It is broken down into responses by age, employment status, education, income, and gender. It also is calculated for four different U.S. regions.