Consumer confidence continues decline

Following a sharp decrease in October, consumer confidence continued trending downward in November to its current resting place of 70.4.

“Consumer confidence declined moderately in November after sharply declining in October," said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. "Sentiment regarding current conditions was mixed, with consumers saying the job market had strengthened, while economic conditions had slowed. However, these sentiments did not carry over into the short-term outlook. When looking ahead six months, consumers expressed greater concern about future job and earning prospects, but remain neutral about economic conditions. All in all, with such uncertainly prevailing, this could be a challenging holiday season for retailers."

Both the Present Situation Index (down to 72.0 from 72.6) and the Expectations Index (69.3, down from 72.2) decreased as well. 

The number of those claiming business conditions are "good," as well as those assessing them as "bad," increased in November. Overall, faith in the job market improved slightly.

Consumers were also slightly more optimistic about the short-term outlook for business conditions, but those anticipating more jobs fell all the way from 16.0% to 12.7%. Additionally, fewer consumers expected their incomes to increase.

November's index was down two entire points from October's upwardly revised figure of 72.4. Early estimates last month pinned the index at 71.2.

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