From Home Furnishing Business
Consumer Confidence Index Dips Slightly in December
After reaching a 17-year high in November, the widely-followed Consumer Confidence Index fell to 122.1 in November, according to the Conference Board.
The group said the index stood at 128.6 (1985=100) in November.
“The decline in confidence was fueled by a somewhat less optimistic outlook for business and job prospects in the coming months,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board. “Consumers’ assessment of current conditions, however, improved moderately.”
“Despite the decline in confidence, consumers’ expectations remain at historically strong levels, suggesting economic growth will continue well into 2018,” Franco added.
Consumers’ appraisal of present-day conditions was slightly more positive in December. The percentage saying business conditions are “good” increased marginally from 35.0 percent to 35.2 percent, while those saying business conditions are “bad” decreased marginally, from 12.3 percent to 12.1 percent.
Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was mixed. Those claiming jobs are “plentiful” decreased from 37.5 percent to 35.7 percent, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” also decreased, from 16.8 percent to 15.2 percent – a 16-year low.
Consumers’ optimism about the short-term outlook declined sharply in December. The percentage of consumers anticipating business conditions to improve over the next six months declined from 23.1 percent to 20.2 percent, while those expecting business conditions to worsen increased from 6.7 percent to 9.2 percent.
The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and analytics based on what consumers buy and watch. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was Dec. 15.