The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had rebounded in October, declined in November. The index now stands at 88.7 (1985=100), down from 94.1 in October. The Present Situation Index declined from 94.4 to 91.3, while the Expectations Index decreased sharply to 87.0 from 93.8 in October.
Consumers’ assessment of present-day conditions was moderately less favorable in November than in October. The proportion saying business conditions are “good” decreased from 24.7% to 24.0%, while those claiming business conditions are “bad” increased from 21.3% to 22.4%. Consumers’ assessment of the job market was slightly less favorable, with the proportion stating jobs are “plentiful” falling from 16.5% to 16.0%, and those claiming jobs are “hard to get” increasing marginally from 29.0% to 29.2%.
Consumers’ optimism, which had improved in October, retreated in November. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months decreased from 19.4% to 17.6%, while those expecting business conditions to worsen rose from 8.9% to 10.7%.
Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was also less optimistic. Those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead decreased from 16.0% to 15.0%, while those anticipating fewer jobs rose from 14.1% to 16.4%. The proportion of consumers expecting growth in their incomes edged down from 16.7% to 16.3%, while the proportion expecting a drop in income was virtually unchanged at 11.4% compared to 11.3% in October.
“Consumer confidence retreated in November, primarily due to reduced optimism in the short-term outlook,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers were somewhat less positive about current business conditions and the present state of the job market; moreover, their optimism in the short-term outlook in both areas has waned. However, income expectations were virtually unchanged and gas prices remain low, which should help boost holiday sales.”
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 Nov. 13.