Conference Board Nov. consumer confidence index at 17-year high

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The consumer confidence index increased to 129.5 in November from a revised 126.2 last month, The Conference Board reported Tuesday.

The October index was originally reported as 125.9.

Economists polled by Thomson Reuters predicted a 124.0 reading for the index.

The present situation index rose to 153.9 from a revised 152.0, first reported as 151.1, while the expectations index grew to 113.3 from a revised 109.0, first reported as 109.1.

“Consumer confidence increased for a fifth consecutive month and remains at a 17-year high (Nov. 2000, 132.6),” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators for The Conference Board. “Consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved moderately, while their expectations regarding the short-term outlook improved more so, driven primarily by optimism of further improvements in the labor market. Consumers are entering the holiday season in very high spirits and foresee the economy expanding at a healthy pace into the early months of 2018.”

Business conditions were called “good” by 34.9% of respondents in November, up from 34.4% of respondents in October. Those saying conditions are “bad” fell to 12.7% from 13.5%.

The percentage of consumers expecting a pickup in business conditions in the next half year grew to 22.4% from 22.1%, while 6.5% said they expect conditions to worsen, down from 7.0% in the prior month.

On the jobs front, those who believe jobs are “plentiful” grew to 37.1% from 36.7% in last month, while the number saying jobs are “hard to get” dipped to 16.9% from 17.1%. The respondents who see fewer jobs becoming available in a half year, decreased to 11.0% from 11.6%. Those expecting more jobs to become available gained to 22.6% from 18.7%, The Conference Board reported.

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

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