Confidence steps back in November

Familiar trend continues: Up from 2020, down from 2019.

The closely watched Consumer Confidence Index declined in November to a reading of 109.5. That’s down from a downwardly revised October reading of 111.6

The year-over-year comparisons reveal a continuation of a 2021 trend. Confidence is improved compared to 2020, but reduced compared to 2019. (Exception: June’s index reading of 128.9 was higher than both 2020 and 2019.)

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The Conference Board’s Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at The Conference Board described confidence as “moderated” following a gain in October.

“Expectations about short-term growth prospects ticked up, but job and income prospects ticked down,” Franco said. “Concerns about rising prices—and, to a lesser degree, the Delta variant—were the primary drivers of the slight decline in confidence. Meanwhile, the proportion of consumers planning to purchase homes, automobiles, and major appliances over the next six months decreased.”

Meanwhile, expectations run high for holiday season sales, Franco added.

“However, both confidence and spending will likely face headwinds from rising prices and a potential resurgence of COVID-19 in the coming months,” she said.

The Conference Board’s “Present Situation” update emerged as less favorable in November.

• 17.0% of consumers said business conditions are “good,” down from 18.3%.

• 29.0% of consumers said business conditions are “bad,” up from 25.7%.

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