The consumer confidence index decreased to 122.1 in December from a revised 128.6 last month, The Conference Board reported Wednesday.

The November index was originally reported as 129.5.

Economists predicted a 127.9 reading for the index.

The present situation index rose to 156.6 from a revised 154.9, first reported as 153.9, while the expectations index fell to 99.1 from a revised 111.0, first reported as 113.3.

“Consumer confidence retreated in December after reaching a 17-year high in November,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators for The Conference Board. “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.”

Business conditions were called “good” by 35.2% of respondents in December, up from 35.0% of respondents in November. Those saying conditions are “bad” fell to 12.1% from 12.3%.

The percentage of consumers expecting a pickup in business conditions in the next half year fell to 20.2% from 23.1%, while 9.2% said they expect conditions to worsen, up from 6.7% in the prior month.

On the jobs front, those who believe jobs are “plentiful” slid to 35.7% from 37.5% in last month, while the number saying jobs are “hard to get” dipped to a 16-year low of 15.2% from 16.8%. The respondents who see fewer jobs becoming available in a half year, increased to 16.3% from 12.1%. Those expecting more jobs to become available declined to 18.4% from 21.3%, The Conference Board reported.

The consumer confidence survey is based on a probability design random sample by the Nielsen Company.

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Gary Siegel

Gary Siegel

Gary Siegel has been at The Bond Buyer since 1989, currently covering economic indicators and the Federal Reserve system.