Consumer Confidence Remains At 17-Year High

Consumer sentiment continued to improve in November, reports The Conference Board, sustaining the Consumer Confidence Index’s 17-year high. The index now stands at 129.5, up from 126.2 in October.

“Consumer confidence increased for a fifth consecutive month and remains at a 17-year high,” says Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved moderately, while their expectations regarding the short-term outlook improved more so, driven primarily by optimism of further improvements in the labor market. Consumers are entering the holiday season in very high spirits and foresee the economy expanding at a healthy pace into the early months of 2018.”

Breaking the Conference Board’s findings down a bit, the Present Situation Index increased from 152 in October to 153.9 to November, while the Expectations Index rose from 109 to 113.3. The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen.

The percentage of consumers saying business conditions are "good" increased from 34.4 percent to 34.9 percent, while those saying business conditions are "bad" declined from 13.5 percent to 12.7 percent. Consumers' assessment of the labor market also improved. Those stating jobs are "plentiful" increased from 36.7 percent to 37.1 percent, while those claiming jobs are "hard to get" decreased slightly from 17.1 percent to 16.9 percent.

Consumers' optimism about the short-term outlook was also more favorable in November. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months increased slightly from 22.1 percent to 22.4 percent, while those expecting business conditions to worsen decreased from 7.0 percent to 6.5 percent.

Consumers' outlook for the job market was also more upbeat than in October. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead increased from 18.7 percent to 22.6 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs declined from 11.6 percent to 11.0 percent. Regarding their short-term income prospects, the percentage of consumers expecting an improvement decreased marginally from 20.3 percent to 20.1 percent, while the proportion expecting a decrease was virtually unchanged at 7.6 percent.

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