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Consumer confidence index falls in December, suggests economic growth will moderate

January 02, 2019

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index decreased in December, following a modest decline in November. The index fell to a reading of 128.1 (1985=100), down from 136.4 in November.

“Consumer confidence decreased in December, following a moderate decline in November,” said Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “Expectations regarding job prospects and business conditions weakened, but still suggest that the economy will continue expanding at a solid pace in the short-term. While consumers are ending 2018 on a strong note, back-to-back declines in expectations are reflective of an increasing concern that the pace of economic growth will begin moderating in the first half of 2019.”

Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was mixed; the number of consumers stating that jobs were “plentiful” fell marginally to 46.2% in December from 46.8% in November, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” fell to 11.6% from 12.6%. 

Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was less favorable. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead fell to 16.6% in December from 22.7% in November, while those anticipating fewer jobs increased to 14.4% from 11.2%.

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