United States: Consumer confidence wanes slightly in November
The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index inched down to 125.5 in November from a revised 126.1 in October (previously reported: 125.9), marking the fourth consecutive decline in sentiment. The reading underwhelmed market expectations of a rise to 126.9, but nonetheless remained securely above the 100-threshold that separates optimism from pessimism.
Consumers were less optimistic about present economic conditions in November. Moreover, households were less upbeat about the labor market, with the labor differential—the difference between the percentage of respondents who state that jobs are plentiful and those who say that jobs are hard to get—falling from 35.1 in October to 32.1 in November. On the bright side, consumers had a better assessment of the short-term outlook. Although less consumers expect better business conditions in the future, they were slightly more optimistic about their short-term income prospects. Meanwhile, their outlook on the labor market was mixed: less participants expect more jobs in the months ahead, but those expecting fewer jobs decreased.
Commenting on this month’s reading, Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, noted:
“The decline in the Present Situation Index suggests that economic growth in the final quarter of 2019 will remain weak. […] Overall, confidence levels are still high and should support solid spending during this holiday season.”