The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had decreased in September, rebounded this month and now stands at 94.5, up from 89.0 in September. The Present Situation Index also edged up, from 93.0 to 93.7, while the Expectations Index increased sharply to 95.0 from 86.4 in September.
“A more favorable assessment of the current job market and business conditions contributed to the improvement in consumers’ view of the present situation,” Lynn Franco, director/economic indicators at The Conference Board, said. “Looking ahead, consumers have regained confidence in the short-term outlook for the economy and labor market, and are more optimistic about their future earnings potential. With the holiday season around the corner, this boost in confidence should be a welcome sign for retailers.”
Consumers’ appraisal of current conditions was moderately more favorable in October than in September. Their view of business conditions was mixed; while the proportion saying conditions are “good” inched up from 24.2% to 24.5%, those claiming business conditions are “bad” also increased slightly, from 21.2% to 21.7% percent. Consumers’ assessment of the job market improved moderately, with the proportion stating jobs are “plentiful” increasing from 16.3% to 16.5%, and those claiming jobs are “hard to get” declining slightly from 29.4% to 29.1%.
Consumer optimism, which had declined considerably in September, improved in October. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months increased from 19% to 19.6%, while those expecting business conditions to worsen fell from 11.4% to 9.3%. Consumer outlook for the labor market also improved. Those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead increased to 16.8% from 16%, while those anticipating fewer jobs fell from 16.9% to 13.9%. The proportion of consumers expecting growth in their incomes rose from 16.9% in September to 17.7% in October, while the proportion expecting a drop in income fell from 13.4% to 11.6%.
The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey is based on a probability-design random sample and is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was October 16.