Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!
Data: Investing.com; Chart: Axios Visuals

The Conference Board's consumer confidence index rose to 101.8 in September from 86.3 in August after two straight monthly declines.

Why it matters: The reading was the largest increase in 17 years, the best reading since March and was nearly 12 points above consensus expectations.

Zoom in: Unlike in previous months when consumers felt confident about the future but nervous about their present situation, all components of the index increased markedly.

  • Consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions rose to 98.5 from 85.8 in August.
  • The index for consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business and labor market conditions increased to 104.0 from 86.6 in August.

Yes, but: The reading diverged sharply from the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index, which showed confidence largely in line with recent months.

What we're hearing: The vast difference between the two surveys "leaves ongoing uncertainty over the path of consumer spending at a time of rising COVID-19 cases and growing election uncertainty," says ING chief international economist James Knightley.

  • The Conference Board's survey cut off responses Sept. 18 while the latest Michigan survey was released on Sept. 25 and will update on Friday.
  • The Conference Board polls up to 10 times the number of people, Knightley notes.
  • "The other major difference is the perception that the Conference Board measure puts more emphasis on the state of the jobs market while the University of Michigan puts more weight on personal finances and overall business conditions."

Of note: A report from research firm Morning Consult, which surveys respondents daily and has readings through Tuesday, "shows that the momentum from early September has subdued, as growth slowed in the second half of the month."

  • Morning Consult’s reading was 91.8 as of Sept. 29, up 2.2% from Aug. 31, after seeing a 5.2% peak growth rate on Sept. 10.

Go deeper

Dec 15, 2020 - Health

Axios-Ipsos poll: New enthusiasm for the shot

Data: Axios/Ipsos survey; Chart: Axios Visuals

The share of Americans who say they'll get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it's available has doubled since September, with more than one in four now putting their hands up, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: This increased comfort with or appetite for getting the vaccine is happening as the first Americans get vaccinated. It's being driven by people 65 and older, but it's happening across all age, party ID and racial and ethnic groups.

Republicans pledge to set aside differences and work with Biden

President Biden speaks to Sen. Mitch McConnell after being sworn in at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Several Republicans praised President Biden's calls for unity during his inaugural address on Wednesday and pledged to work together for the benefit of the American people.

Why it matters: The Democrats only have a slim majority in the Senate and Biden will likely need to work with the GOP to pass his legislative agenda.

The Biden protection plan

Joe Biden announces his first run for the presidency in June 1987. Photo: Howard L. Sachs/CNP/Getty Images

The Joe Biden who became the 46th president on Wednesday isn't the same blabbermouth who failed in 1988 and 2008.

Why it matters: Biden now heeds guidance about staying on task with speeches and no longer worries a gaffe or two will cost him an election. His staff also limits the places where he speaks freely and off the cuff. This Biden protective bubble will only tighten in the months ahead, aides tell Axios.