Consumer Confidence Weakens In November

Consumer confidence declined in November, reports The Conference Board. Its Consumer Confidence Index, which had slipped moderately in October to 99.1, dipped to 90.4 in November. The monthly survey, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen.

“Consumer confidence retreated in November, following a moderate decrease in October,” says Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “The decline was mainly due to a less favorable view of the job market. Consumers’ appraisal of current business conditions, on the other hand, was mixed. Fewer consumers said conditions had improved, while the proportion saying conditions had deteriorated also declined. Heading into 2016, consumers are cautious about the labor market and expect little change in business conditions.”

Consumers’ assessment of current conditions was less positive in November. Those saying business conditions are “good” decreased from 26.8 percent to 24.4 percent, while those claiming business conditions are “bad” also decreased from 18.3 percent to 16.9 percent. Consumers were less upbeat about the current state of the job market. Those stating jobs are “plentiful” decreased from 22.7 percent to 19.9 percent, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” increased to 26.2 percent from 24.6 percent.

Optimism about the short-term outlook declined sharply in November. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months decreased from 18.1 percent to 14.8 percent, while those expecting business conditions to worsen increased slightly to 11 percent from 10.4 percent. Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was also more pessimistic. Those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead fell from 14.4 percent to 11.6 percent, while those expecting fewer jobs increased from 16.6 percent to 18.7 percent. The proportion of consumers expecting their incomes to increase declined from 18.1 percent to 17.2 percent, while the proportion expecting a decline increased from 10.5 percent to 11.8 percent.

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