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SCT

Consumer confidence high as holidays approach

October 29, 2019

Consumer confidence remains high, despite a slight decline in October, The Conference Board reported Tuesday.

The Consumer Confidence Index stands at 125.9, down from 126.3 in September. The organization's Present Situation Index, meanwhile, which measures consumers’ assessment of current business and employment conditions, rose during that period, from 170.6 to 172.3.

“Confidence levels remain high, and there are no indications that consumers will curtail their holiday spending”

“Consumer confidence was relatively flat in October, following a decrease in September,” said Lynn Franco, the Conference Board's senior director of economic indicators. “The Present Situation Index improved, but expectations weakened slightly, as consumers expressed some concerns about business conditions and job prospects. However, confidence levels remain high, and there are no indications that consumers will curtail their holiday spending.”

The Expectations Index, a measure of consumers’ outlook for income, business and labor market conditions, declined from 96.8 in September to 94.9 this month.

Consumers took a brighter view of the current climate in October, with those claiming that business conditions are “good” rising to 39.2 percent, from 37.4 percent, and with those saying that things are “bad” declining from 12.2 percent to 11.2 percent. The portion of consumers who say jobs are “plentiful” rose, to 46.9 percent,  from 44.5 percent, while those claiming that jobs are “hard to get” went up slightly, from 11 percent to 11.8 percent.

Those expecting more income increased, from 19.7 percent to 21.1 percent, while those expecting a decline remained at 6.5 percent

The share of consumers anticipating that business conditions will improve over the next six months declined, from 20 percent to 18.6 percent, but those expecting them to worsen declined as well, from 13.3 percent to 11.6 percent.

Similarly, those expecting more jobs in the coming months decreased, from 17.6 percent to 16.9 percent, and those expecting fewer jobs rose, from 15.4 percent to 17.8 percent. When it comes to short-term income expectations, those expecting more increased, from 19.7 percent to 21.1 percent, while those expecting a decline remained at 6.5 percent.

By Edmund Mander

Director, Editor-In-Chief/SCT

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