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Consumer Confidence Up AgainDecember 1, 2010 By: George Dooley
Consumer confidence rose in November, according to the Conference Board. The gains represented the second straight month consumer confidence has risen. The level is currently at its highest point in five months.
The Index now stands at 54.1, up from 49.9 in October. The Conference Board's Present Situation Index rose to 24.0 from 23.5 while its Expectations Index increased to 74.2 from 67.5 in the past month.
"Consumers’ assessment of the current state of the economy and job market, while only slightly better than last month, suggests the economy is still expanding, albeit slowly," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. "Expectations, the main driver of this month’s increase in confidence, are now at the highest level since May. Hopefully, the improvement in consumers’ mood will continue in the months ahead,”
Consumers’ assessment of current-day conditions was virtually unchanged from October, the Conference Board said. Those claiming business conditions are “bad” increased to 43.6 percent from 42.3 percent, while those claiming business conditions are “good” edged down to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent. Consumers’ appraisal of the job market, however, was more positive than last month. Those stating jobs are “plentiful” increased to 4.0 percent from 3.5 percent, while those stating jobs are “hard to get” edged up to 46.5 percent from 46.3 percent.
Consumers were more optimistic about the short-term outlook than they were in October. Those anticipating an improvement in business conditions over the next six months rose to 16.7 percent from 15.8 percent, while those anticipating business conditions will worsen declined to 12.1 percent from 14.4 percent, the Conference Board said.
Consumers were also more upbeat about future job prospects. Those expecting fewer jobs in the months ahead declined to 18.8 percent from 22.3 percent, while the percentage expecting more jobs rose to 15.5 percent from 14.5 percent. The proportion of consumers expecting an increase in their incomes increased to 10.6 percent from 9.7 percent.
The Consumer Confidence Survey is based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households. The monthly survey is conducted for The Conference Board by TNS, a research firm. The cutoff date for November’s preliminary results was November 19th. Visit www.conference-boards.org.