Consumer Confidence Remains High Despite Slight Decline in November

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Consumer confidence remains high despite unexpectedly slipping a bit in November.

The Conference Board’s index of consumer confidence dipped to 125.5 in November, down from 126.1 in October. Economists had expected a slight rise.

“Overall, confidence levels are still high and should support solid spending during this holiday season,” said Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at The Conference Board.

The Present Situation Index, which is based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions, fell from 173.5 to 166.9.

But the forward-looking Expectations Index, based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business and labor market conditions, improved from 94.5 last month to 97.9 this month.

The Conference Board’s gauge of consumer confidence has now declined for four months in a row. November’s decline in the present situation assessment “suggests that economic growth in the final quarter of 2019 will remain weak,” according to Franco.

“However, consumers’ short-term expectations improved modestly, and growth in early 2020 is likely to remain at around 2%. Overall, confidence levels are still high and should support solid spending during this holiday season,” Franco said in a statement.

 

The share of consumers claiming business conditions are “good” rose slightly from 39.7 percent to 40.2 percent. But this was offset by a rise in the share claiming business conditions are “bad.”  The share of consumers expecting business conditions will improve over the next six months dipped slightly from 18.7 percent to 17.2 percent, while those expecting business conditions will worsen increased slightly, from 11.5 percent to 12.1 percent.

The percentage of consumers saying jobs are “plentiful” decreased from 47.7 percent to 44.8 percent, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” increased from 11.6 percent to 12.7 percent. The share expecting more jobs in the months ahead decreased from 16.9 percent to 15.7 percent, but those expecting fewer jobs also fell, from 18.0 percent to 13.2 percent.

The percentage of consumers anticipating an improvement in their household income edged up from 21.4 percent to 21.8 percent, while the proportion expecting a decrease fell from 6.9 percent to 6.2 percent.

 

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