The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had declined in October, increased slightly in November. The Index now stands at 49.5, up from 48.7 in October. The Present Situation Index was virtually unchanged at 21.0 versus 21.1 last month. The Expectations Index increased to 68.5 from 67.0 in October.
Says Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center: "Consumer Confidence posted a slight gain in November. The Present Situation Index, however, was virtually unchanged and remains at levels not seen in 26 years. The moderate improvement in the short-term outlook was the result of a decrease in the percent of consumers expecting business and labor market conditions to worsen, as opposed to an increase in the percent of consumers expecting conditions to improve. Income expectations remain very pessimistic and consumers are entering the holiday season in a very frugal mood."
Consumers' appraisal of present-day conditions was virtually unchanged in November. Those claiming business conditions are "bad" decreased to 45.7% from 46.7%, while those claiming conditions are "good" increased to 8.1% from 7.8%. Consumers' assessment of the labor market deteriorated moderately. Those claiming jobs are "hard to get" increased to 49.8% from 49.4%, while those claiming jobs are "plentiful" decreased to 3.2% from 3.5%.
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