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Consumer Confidence Soars to Highest Level in 18 Years

Donald Trump
The Associated Press

Consumer confidence rose again in October.

The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index rose to 137.9 in October from a downwardly revised 135.3 in September. The October level is the highest since September of 2000, when the index hit 142.5.

Economists had expected the consumer confidence index to drop to 136.3 from the 138.4 previously reported for the previous month.

Consumer views of both the present and the future improved in October. Positive sentiment of current economic conditions jumped to 172.8 from 164.9 in the previous month. The expectations index soared higher, to 144.6 in October from 112.5 in September.

“The Expectations Index posted another gain in October, suggesting that consumers do not foresee the economy losing steam anytime soon. Rather, they expect the strong pace of growth to carry over into early 2019,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board.

The percentage of consumers saying business conditions are “good” r0se up to 40.5 percent from 39.9 percent  Those share saying conditions are “bad” fell to 9.2 percent from 9.6 percent.

Consumers also have a more favorable assessment of the labor market. The share claiming jobs are “plentiful” rose to 45.9 percent from 44.1 percent. Those claiming jobs are “hard to get” dipping to 13.2 percent from 14.1 percent.

And a growing share of consumers think business conditions will get even better. The percentage expecting business conditions will improve over the next six months climbed to 26.3 percent from 25.8 percent. Those expecting conditions will worsen dipped to 7.4 percent from 8.3 percent.

The outlook for the labor market was mixed and likely reflected the tight jobs market.  The share of consumers expecting more jobs in the months ahead dipped to 21.9 percent from 22.1 percent. Those expecting fewer jobs also slipped to 10.5 percent from 11.4 percent. With job vacancies at record highs and unemployment at record lows, it is not surprising the consumers are reining in ex[ectations for job creation.

 

 

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