The Conference Board U.S. Consumer Confidence Index, which had improved in October, increased further in November to stand at 54.1 (1985=100), up from 49.9 in October. The Present Situation Index rose to 24.0 from 23.5. The Expectations Index increased to 74.2 from 67.5 last month.
"Consumer confidence is now at its highest level in five months, a welcome sign as we enter the holiday season," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. "Consumers’ assessment of the current state of the economy and job market, while only slightly better than last month, suggests the economy is still expanding, albeit slowly. Expectations, the main driver of this month’s increase in confidence, are now at the highest level since May."
U.S. consumers’ assessment of current-day conditions was virtually unchanged from October. Those claiming business conditions are “bad” increased to 43.6% from 42.3%, while those claiming business conditions are “good” edged down to 8.1% from 8.3%.
But consumers’ appraisal of the job market was more positive. Those stating jobs are “plentiful” increased to 4.0% from 3.5%; those stating jobs are “hard to get” increased slightly to 46.5% from 46.3%.
Consumers had a more optimistic perspective on the short-term outlook in November than they did in October. Those anticipating an improvement in business conditions over the next six months rose to 16.7%, up from 15.8%. Those anticipating business conditions will worsen declined to 12.1%, from 14.4% in October.
Consumers were more upbeat about future employment. Those expecting fewer jobs in the months ahead declined to 18.8% from 22.3%, while those expecting more jobs rose to 15.5% from 14.5%. The consumers expecting an increase in their incomes rose to 10.6% from 9.7%.
The monthly survey is conducted for The Conference Board by TNS and is based on a representative sample of 5000 U.S. households.
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