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Consumer confidence index edges down even as labor market assessment improves

November 27, 2018

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index decreased in November following an improvement in October. The index fell to a reading of 135.7 (1985=100), down from 137.9 in October. Despite the small decline, consumer confidence remains at historically strong levels.

“Consumers’ assessment of current conditions increased slightly, with job growth the main driver of improvement,” said Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “Expectations, on the other hand, weakened somewhat in November, primarily due to a less optimistic view of future business conditions and personal income prospects.”

Overall, consumers are still quite confident that economic growth will continue at a solid pace into early 2019, according to Franco. “However, if expectations soften further in the coming months, the pace of growth is likely to begin moderating,” she said.

Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was more favorable; the number of consumers stating that jobs were “plentiful” rose to 46.6% in November from 45.4% in October, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” fell to 12.2% from 13.4%. 

However, consumers’ outlook for the labor market was somewhat mixed. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead edged up to 22.8% in November from 22.3% in October, while those anticipating fewer jobs also increased slightly to 11.1% from 10.6%.


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