The Consumer Confidence Index rose again in October, after an increase in September as well. The Index now stands at 72.2, up from 68.4 in September. The Present Situation Index also increased, to 56.2 from 48.7. The Expectations Index rose to 82.9 from 81.5 last month. The Consumer Confidence Index is put together each month by The Conference Board.
“The Consumer Confidence Index increased again in October and is now at its highest level this year,” Lynn Franco, director/economic indicators at The Conference Board, said. “Consumers were considerably more positive in their assessment of current conditions, with improvements in the job market as the major driver. Consumers were modestly more upbeat about their financial situation and the short-term economic outlook, and appear to be in better spirits approaching the holiday season.”
Consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved in October with those claiming business conditions are “good” at 16.5%, up from 15.3%. Those saying business conditions are “bad” edged down to 33.1% from 33.8%. Consumers’ appraisal of the labor market was also more positive. Those stating jobs are “plentiful” increased to 10.3% from 8.1%, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” declined to 39.4% from 40.7%.
Consumers were generally more optimistic about the short-term outlook in October. Those anticipating an improvement in business conditions over the next six months increased to 21.4% from 17.9%. However, those expecting business conditions to worsen edged up to 15.1% from 14.5%.
Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was also mixed. Those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead increased to 19.2% from 18.1%, while those expecting fewer jobs increased to 20.3% from 18.7%. The proportion of consumers expecting an increase in their incomes edged up to 16.7% from 15.9%.