The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index, which increased in October, posted a moderate increase in November. The index now stands at 73.7 (1985=100), up from 73.1 in October. The Present Situation Index was virtually unchanged at 56.6 versus 56.7 last month.
The Expectations Index rose to 85.1 from 84.0 last month. Consumers’ appraisal of current conditions was relatively unchanged in November. Those saying business conditions are “good” declined to 14.4% from 16.5%, while those saying business conditions are “bad” deceased to 31.5% from 33.0%.
Consumers’ assessment of the labor market improved. Those claiming jobs are “plentiful” increased to 11.2% from 10.4%, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” held steady at 38.8%. 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% from 21.5%, while those expecting business conditions to worsen edged down to 14.3% from 15.0%.
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% from 19.7%, while those expecting fewer jobs remained virtually unchanged at 19.7%. The proportion of consumers expecting an increase in their incomes decreased to 15.9% from 16.7%.
“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,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board. “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.”
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 13.