Consumer Confidence Index declines

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index dropped in December, following a modest improvement in November.

“Consumer confidence retreated in December after reaching a 17-year high in November,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “The decline in confidence was fueled by a somewhat less optimistic outlook for business and job prospects in the coming months. 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.”

Consumers’ appraisal of present-day conditions was slightly more positive in December. The percentage saying business conditions are “good” increased marginally, while those saying business conditions are “bad” decreased marginally. Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was mixed. Those claiming jobs are “plentiful” decreased, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” also decreased.

Consumers’ optimism about the short-term outlook declined sharply in December. The percentage of consumers anticipating business conditions will improve over the next six months declined, those expecting business conditions to worsen increased.

Consumers’ outlook for the job market was also less upbeat than in November. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead decreased, while those anticipating fewer jobs rose.

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