Art Market Index Highlights Power of Positive Thinking
Art collectors are still taking a beating, but at least they're letting themselves hope. ArtPrice's Art Market Confidence Index (AMCI) has gained a little bit of ground this year, after enduring a dismal 2008. Prices at auction haven't followed collector optimism yet, but wishing is a prerequisite to opening your wallet.
The AMCI doesn't reflect pricing so much as art collector confidence in the market, and an upswing is evident. Last year, the AMCI plunged 30 percent, and on January 31, 2009, it revisited the low it reached after a series of disappointing November 2008 auctions. The situation remained grim in February, at which point the AMCI seemed to follow the broader financial markets, reaching a low point in early March and subsequently looking for a recovery. We haven't seen a turnaround yet, but the worst appears to be behind us.
From April to July, the AMCI is certainly pointed higher, but the sentiment is academic until collectors pry open their checkbooks and take action. Right now the money isn't flowing, and that's what has to change for the market to rebound.