Conference Board: Consumer Outlook Improves In December

Consumer confidence built after a modest decrease in November to reach a rating of 96.5 in December, according to The Conference Board. The organization’s Consumer Confidence Index slipped to 92.6 in November.

In December, the Conference Board Present Situation Index increased from 110.9 in November to 115.3, while the Expectations Index, which looks at prospects further in the future, improved to 83.9 from 80.4 in November.

Consumer regard for current conditions came in mixed during the Conference Board’s December look at the economy. Those saying business conditions are good increased from 25% to 27.3%. Still, those saying business conditions are bad also increased from 16.9% to 19.8%. Consumers who took part in the conference board study were more positive in assessing the labor market, with the proportion claiming jobs are plentiful increasing from 21% to 24.1%, while those claiming jobs are hard to get decreased to 24.7% from 25.8%.

“Consumer confidence improved in December, following a moderate decrease in November,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “As 2015 draws to a close, consumers’ assessment of the current state of the economy remains positive, particularly their assessment of the job market. Looking ahead to 2016, consumers are expecting little change in both business conditions and the labor market. Expectations regarding their financial outlook are mixed, but the optimists continue to outweigh the pessimists.”