Consumer Confidence Retreats In October
Consumer confidence eased in October, reports The Conference Board in its Consumer Confidence Index. After showing a moderate increase in September, rising to 102.6, the index slipped to 97.6 in October.
Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, says, “Consumers were less positive in their assessment of present-day conditions, in particular the job market, and were moderately less optimistic about the short-term outlook. Despite the decline, consumers still rate current conditions favorably, but they do not anticipate the economy strengthening much in the near-term.”
The percentage of consumers describing business conditions as “good” decreased in October from 28.1 percent to 26.5 percent, while those claiming business conditions are “bad” increased from 16.4 percent to 18.3 percent. Consumers’ outlook on the job market also soured, with the percentage of those stating jobs are “plentiful” slipping from 24.8 percent in September to 22.2 percent, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” ticked up to 25.8 percent from 24.9 percent.
Optimism about the short-term outlook was subdued in October. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months remained unchanged in October at 18.1 percent, while those expecting business conditions to worsen eased up to 10.6 percent from 10.4 percent.
The outlook for the labor market has also grown less optimistic. Consumers expecting more jobs in the coming months slipped from 14.9 percent to 14.5 percent in October, and those predicting fewer jobs increased from 15.9 percent to 16.9 percent. Furthermore, the percentage of consumers anticipating their incomes to increase eased from 18.7 percent to 18 percent, while the number predicting a decline grew from 9.9 percent to 10.7 percent.