Can’t rain on their parade!
Consumer confidence came back in November after a decline in October, registering 107.1 in The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®, up from 100.8—a sign that the election outcome did not deter optimism. The move marks a return to pre-recession sentiment; the Index stood at 111.9 in July 2007.
“Consumer confidence improved in November after a moderate decline in October, and is once again at pre-recession levels,” says Lynn Franco, director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “A more favorable assessment of current conditions, coupled with a more optimistic short-term outlook, helped boost confidence. While the majority of consumers were surveyed before the presidential election, it appears from the small sample of post-election responses that consumers’ optimism was not impacted by the outcome.”
The Present Situation Index, as well, increased from 123.1 to 130.3 in November, while the Expectations Index improved from 86.0 to 91.7.
Consumers’ assessment of current conditions also improved in November, according to the Index. The percentage saying business conditions are “good” improved from 26.5 percent to 29.2 percent, while those saying business conditions are “bad” fell from 17.3 percent to 14.8 percent. Consumers’ appraisal of the labor market was moderately more positive, in addition—the percentage of consumers stating jobs are “plentiful” increased from 25.3 percent to 26.9 percent, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” was unchanged at 21.7 percent.
Consumers’ short-term outlook, on balance, was more optimistic in November, according to the Index. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months fell from 16.4 percent to 15.3 percent; however, those expecting business conditions to worsen also decreased, from 11.8 percent to 10.0 percent.
Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was likewise somewhat mixed. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead was virtually unchanged at 14.5 percent, but those anticipating fewer jobs fell from 16.6 percent to 13.8 percent. The percentage of consumers expecting their incomes to increase—17.5 percent—was little changed from last month, while the proportion expecting a drop in income fell moderately, from 10.2 percent to 9.0 percent.
Source: The Conference Board
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