Consumer confidence declines in October

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The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®, which had increased moderately in September, declined in October, according to a Tuesday release from The Conference Board.

The Index now stands at 97.6 (1985=100), down from 102.6 in September. The Present Situation Index decreased from 120.3 last month to 112.1 in October, while the Expectations Index edged down to 88.0 from 90.8 in September.

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 around what consumers buy and watch. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was Oct. 15.

"Consumer confidence declined in October, following September's modest gain," said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. "Consumers were less positive in their assessment of present-day conditions, in particular the job market, and were moderately less optimistic about the short-term outlook. Despite the decline, consumers still rate current conditions favorably, but they do not anticipate the economy strengthening much in the near-term."

Consumers' appraisal of current conditions was somewhat less positive in October. Those saying business conditions are "good" decreased from 28.1 percent to 26.5 percent, while those claiming business conditions are "bad" increased from 16.4 percent to 18.3 percent. Consumers were also less upbeat about the job market. Those stating jobs are "plentiful" decreased from 24.8 percent to 22.2 percent, while those claiming jobs are "hard to get" edged up to 25.8 percent from 24.9 percent.

Consumers' optimism about the short-term outlook was more subdued in October. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months was unchanged at 18.1 percent, while those expecting business conditions to worsen inched up to 10.6 percent from 10.4 percent.

Consumers' outlook for the labor market was slightly less optimistic. Those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead declined moderately from 14.9 percent to 14.5 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs increased from 15.9 percent to 16.9 percent. The proportion of consumers expecting their incomes to increase declined from 18.7 percent to 18.0 percent, while the proportion expecting a decline increased from 9.9 percent to 10.7 percent.

The Conference Board publishes the Consumer Confidence Index® at on the last Tuesday of every month. Subscription information and the technical notes to this series are available on The Conference Board website:https://www.conference-board.org/data/consumerdata.cfm

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