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Consumer confidence slipped in December, posting a 122.1 reading in the latest Consumer Confidence Index® from The Conference Board. The Expectations reading of the Index fell to 110.0, while the Present Situation reading rose to 156.6. November’s reading was 128.6.

“Consumer confidence retreated in December after reaching a 17-year high in November,” said Lynn Franco, director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board, in a statement. “The decline in confidence was fueled by a somewhat less optimistic outlook for business and job prospects in the coming months. Consumers’ assessment of current conditions, however, improved moderately. Despite the decline in confidence, consumers’ expectations remain at historically strong levels, suggesting economic growth will continue well into 2018.”

The percentage of consumers who believe business conditions are “good,” as defined by the Index, increased from 35.0 percent in November to 35.2 percent in December; the percentage of those who believe business conditions are “bad” decreased from 12.3 percent in November to 12.1 percent in December. The percentage of those who expect business conditions to improve decreased from 23.1 percent in November to 20.2 percent in December; the percentage of those who expect business conditions to worsen increased from 6.7 percent in November to 9.2 percent in December.

The percentage of consumers who believe jobs are “plentiful” decreased from 37.5 percent in November to 35.7 percent in December, according to the Index; the percentage of those who believe jobs are “hard to get” also decreased, from 16.8 percent in November to 15.2 percent in December. The percentage of those who expect more jobs in the coming months decreased from 21.3 percent in November to 18.4 percent in December; the percentage of those who expect less jobs in the coming months increased from 12.1 percent in November to 16.3 percent in December.

The percentage of consumers who expect higher incomes increased from 20.3 percent in November to 22.3 percent in December; the percentage of those who expect a decrease also increased, from 7.6 percent in November to 8.9 percent in December.

Source: The Conference Board

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