Conference Board Nov. index falls, still above expectations

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The consumer confidence index decreased to 135.7 in November from an unrevised 137.9 last month, The Conference Board reported Tuesday.

IFR Markets predicted a 133.9 reading for the index.

The present situation index rose to 172.7 from a revised 171.9, first reported as 172.8, while the expectations index fell to 111.0 from a revised 115.1, first reported as 114.6.

“Despite a small decline in November, Consumer Confidence remains at historically strong levels,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators for The Conference Board. “Consumers’ assessment of current conditions increased slightly, with job growth the main driver of improvement. 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. However, if expectations soften further in the coming months, the pace of growth is likely to begin moderating.”

Business conditions were called “good” by 41.2% of respondents in November, up from 41.0% of respondents in October. Those saying conditions are “bad” grew to 10.9% from 9.4%.

The percentage of consumers expecting a pickup in business conditions in the next half year slid to 22.5% from 26.3%, while 8.8% said they expect conditions to worsen, up from 7.2% in the prior month.

On the jobs front, those who believe jobs are “plentiful” rose to 46.6% from 45.4% in last month, while the number saying jobs are “hard to get” fell to 12.2% from 13.4%. The respondents who see fewer jobs becoming available in a half year, rose to 11.1% from 10.6%. Those expecting more jobs to become available gained to 22.8% from 22.3%, The Conference Board reported.

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

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