Consumer Confidence Improves Slightly in October
Oct 28, 2010
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Consumer confidence in the U.S. declined in September and increased, a little, in October, according to the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index.

The index is now at 50.2 (1985=100), up from 48.6 in September. The Present Situation Index increased to 23.9 from 23.3. The Expectations Index improved to 67.8 from 65.5.

The Consumer Confidence Survey is based on a representative sample of 5000 U.S. households.

"Consumer confidence, while slightly improved from September levels, is still hovering at historically low levels," said Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. "Consumers’ assessment of the current state of the economy is relatively unchanged, primarily because labor market conditions have yet to significantly improve"

Consumers’ appraisal of current conditions was somewhat mixed in October. Those claiming business conditions are “bad” decreased to 41.9% from 46.0%, while those claiming business conditions are “good” edged up to 8.5% from 8.2%. Consumers’ assessment of the labor market, however, was less favorable in October. Those claiming jobs are “hard to get” rose to 46.1% from 45.8%, while those stating jobs are “plentiful” decreased to 3.5% from 3.8%.

Consumers’ expectations are bleak but less pessimistic in October. Those expecting an improvement in business conditions over the next six months rose to 16.0% from 15.0%. Those expecting business conditions will worsen declined to 14.1% from 16.6%.

Consumers were mixed about future job prospects. The percentage of consumers anticipating fewer jobs in the months ahead declined to 22.0% from 22.6%. However, the percentage anticipating more jobs declined to 14.1% from 14.5%. The proportion of consumers expecting an increase in their incomes declined to 9.1% from 10.3%.

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