Consumer Confidence Highest In Four Years

The Conference Board, a global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest, reported its Consumer Confidence Index® posted a moderate increase in November. The Index now stands at 73.7, up from 73.1 in October, which also showed an increase. The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey®, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch.

Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board said, in a prepared statement: “The Consumer Confidence Index increased in November and is now at its highest level in more than four and a half years (76.4 Feb. 2008). This month’s moderate improvement was the result of an uptick in expectations, while consumers’ assessment of present-day conditions continues to hold steady.  Over the past few months, consumers have grown increasingly more upbeat about the current and expected state of the job market, and this turnaround in sentiment is helping to boost confidence.” 

Consumers’ appraisal of current conditions was relatively unchanged in November. Those saying business conditions are “good” declined to 14.4 percent from 16.5 percent, while those saying business conditions are “bad” deceased to 31.5 percent from 33.0 percent. Consumers’ assessment of the labor market improved. Those claiming jobs are “plentiful” increased to 11.2 percent from 10.4 percent, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” held steady at 38.8 percent.

Consumers remained optimistic about the short-term outlook in November. Those expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months edged up to 22.2 percent from 21.5 percent, while those expecting business conditions to worsen edged down to 14.3 percent from 15.0 percent. Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was about the same as in October. Those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead marginally improved to 20.3 percent from 19.7 percent, while those expecting fewer jobs remained virtually unchanged at 19.7 percent. The proportion of consumers expecting an increase in their incomes decreased to 15.9 percent from 16.7 percent.

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