U.S. consumer confidence has grown in October to maintain an 18-year high, new figures suggest.
U.S. consumer confidence has grown
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index increased by more than two points in October to 137.9. This shows that U.S. consumer confidence has grown.
The Present Situation Index – based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions – rose from 169.4 to 172.8.
The Expectations Index – based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business and labor market conditions – increased from 112.5 last month to 114.6.
Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, says, “Consumer confidence increased in October, following a modest gain in September, and remains at levels last seen in the fall of 2000 (September 2000, 142.5).
“Consumers’ assessment of present-day conditions remains quite positive, primarily due to strong employment growth. The Expectations Index posted another gain in October, suggesting that consumers do not foresee the economy losing steam anytime soon. Rather, they expect the strong pace of growth to carry over into early 2019.”
Consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved in October. The percentage of consumers saying business conditions are “good” increased from 39.9% to 40.5%. At the same time, those claiming business conditions are “bad” fell from 9.6% to 9.2%.
The labor market outlook was also more favorable. Those claiming jobs are “plentiful” rose from 44.1% to 45.9%. At the same time, those claiming jobs are “hard to get” decreased from 14.1% to 13.2%.
Short-term business optimism improves
Consumers’ optimism about the short-term future grew, too. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions will improve over the next six months increased 0.5% to 26.3%, while those expecting business conditions will worsen fell 0.9% to 7.4%.
The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead fell 0.2% to 21.9%, but those anticipating fewer jobs also decreased, from 11.4% to 10.5%.
The percentage of consumers expecting an improvement in their short-term prospects rose from 22.5% to 24.7%, but the proportion expecting a decrease increased from 7.6% to 8.5%.
The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey is based on a probability-design random sample. The cut-off date for the preliminary results was 18 October.
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