A ray of sunshiny optimism appears to be breaking through the dark, depressing clouds of the last year and a half as the Conference Board reports a 16-month high in consumer confidence. The consumer confidence index hit 55.9 this month, up from 53.6 in December, and is the highest it's been since those glorious pre-crash days of September 2008.
Okay, so not that much has changed since then except the addition of that whole worldwide economic recession depression thing. Sure, the average consumer confidence index usually runs at about 95, but just last February it was at an all-time low of 25.3! We are making progress! Yay, humans! Right...?
It's not just consumers who are becoming cautiously optimistic, either. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, nearly 40% of chief executives said they plan to hire in 2010, according to a survey taken by PrivewaterhouseCoopers. The survey also found that 81% are confident about their prospects over the next year (compared to 64% last year), and 60% of chief executives think economic recovery in their home economy could occur as early as the second half of 2010. Not too shabby!
It can be difficult to find the positive in tough times, but as a people we are at least starting to think confidently again. And, at least for a moment, we can still escape through photos of happy puppy dogs, children running on the beach, overly excited monkeys, and silly old people with babies.
For more news with a positive spin, check out the Upswing here on FastCompany.com.