The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index sank further in November, falling from 105.1 to 102.9, as fewer Americans expect improvement in labor and business conditions over the next few months.
“A tighter labor market and a more guarded short-term outlook have combined to curb consumers’ confidence in November,” said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. “Despite this retreat in confidence, the overall level of confidence remains favorable and continues to suggest that the economy will expand throughout the first half of next year.”
Consumers’ appraisal of current conditions was less positive than in October, as the present situation index decreased to 123.6 from 125.1. Those claiming conditions are “good” declined to 26.5 percent from 27.9 percent. Those claiming conditions are “bad” remained unchanged at 16.8 percent. Labor market conditions were also less favorable than last month, with those saying jobs are “hard to get” rising to 22.4 percent from 21.8 percent. Those claiming jobs are “plentiful” increased slightly to 25.8 percent from 25.6 percent in October.
Consumers’ short-term outlook was less optimistic in November than in October, as the expectations index declined to 89.2 from 91.9 last month. Those expecting business conditions to improve in the next six months decreased to 15.1 percent from 18.5 percent. Those anticipating business conditions to worsen, however, decreased to 8.5 percent from 10 percent.
The outlook for the labor market remained mixed, as the percentage of consumers expecting more jobs to become available in the coming months decreased to 13.1 percent from 15.1 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs also decreased to 16.7 percent from 18 percent. The proportion of consumers expecting their incomes to increase in the months ahead edged up to 20.7 percent from 20 percent in October.
The Consumer Confidence Survey is based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households.