The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had decreased sharply in October, declined again in November. The index now stands at 70.4 (1985=100), down from 72.4 in October. The Present Situation Index edged down to 72.0 from 72.6. The Expectations Index declined to 69.3 from 72.2 last month.

Consumers’ assessment of overall current conditions decreased slightly. Those claiming business conditions are “good” edged up to 19.9% from 19.5%, while those claiming business conditions are “bad” increased to 25.2% from 23.0%. Consumers’ appraisal of the job market was little changed. Those saying jobs are “plentiful” ticked up to 11.8% from 11.6%, while those saying jobs are “hard to get” decreased slightly to 34.0% from 34.9%. 

Consumers’ expectations, which had decreased sharply in October, declined further in November. Those expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months increased slightly to 16.6% from 16.0%, while those expecting business conditions to worsen decreased to 16.8% from 17.5%. However, consumers’ outlook for the labor market was more pessimistic.

Those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead fell to 12.7% from 16.0%, but those anticipating fewer jobs also decreased to 21.7% from 22.6%. The proportion of consumers expecting their incomes to increase declined to 14.9% from 15.7%. Those expecting a decrease in their incomes rose slightly to 15.9% from 15.5%.

“Consumer confidence declined moderately in November after sharply declining in October. Sentiment regarding current conditions was mixed, with consumers saying the job market had strengthened, while economic conditions had slowed,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board.

“However, these sentiments did not carry over into the short-term outlook. When looking ahead six months, consumers expressed greater concern about future job and earning prospects, but remain neutral about economic conditions. All in all, with such uncertainly prevailing, this could be a challenging holiday season for retailers.”

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.

The cutoff date for the preliminary results was November 15.