Consumers Less Confident As Holidays Near

Consumers Less Confident As Holidays Near

The Consumer Confidence Index, which declined in September, deteriorated further in October. Consumer confidence, according to the index, now stands at 47.7 – its second-lowest recording since May.

According to the Associated Press, Wall Street analysts predicted a recording of 53.1.

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The index has seesawed since reaching a historic low of 25.3 in February, and it climbed to 53.4 in September.

The Present Situation Index also decreased dramatically in October to 20.7 from 23.0 last month.

"Consumers’ assessment of present-day conditions has grown less favorable, with labor market conditions playing a major role in this grimmer assessment,” says Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board Consumer Research Center. “In fact, the Present Situation Index is now at its lowest reading in 26 years

“The short-term outlook has also grown more negative, as a greater proportion of consumers anticipate business and labor market conditions will worsen in the months ahead. Consumers also remain quite pessimistic about their future earnings, a sentiment that will likely constrain spending during the holidays."

Consumers’ assessment of current conditions worsened in October. Those claiming business conditions are "bad" increased to 47.1 percent from 46.3 percent, while those claiming conditions are "good" decreased to 7.7 percent from 8.6 percent.

Consumers’ appraisal of the labor market was also bleaker. Those claiming jobs are "hard to get" increased to 49.6 percent from 47.0 percent, while those claiming jobs are "plentiful" decreased to 3.4 percent from 3.6 percent.

Consumers’ short-term outlook also grew more pessimistic in October. Those anticipating an improvement in business conditions over the next six months decreased to 20.8 percent from 21.3 percent, while those expecting conditions to worsen increased to 18.3 percent from 14.6 percent.

The labor market outlook was also more negative. The percentage of consumers expecting more jobs in the months ahead declined to 16.3 percent from 18.0 percent, while those expecting fewer jobs increased to 26.6 percent from 22.9 percent. The proportion of consumers expecting an increase in their incomes decreased to 10.3 percent from 11.2 percent.