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Consumer Confidence Up Slightly

Consumer confidence ticked up in November following an October decline. The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index now stands at 49.5 (1985=100), up from 48.7 in October. The Present Situation Index was roughly equal to October at 21.0 versus 21.1 in September.

The Expectations Index increased to 68.5 from 67.0 in October.

"The moderate improvement in the short-term outlook was the result of a decrease in the percent of consumers expecting business and labor market conditions to worsen, as opposed to an increase in the percent of consumers expecting conditions to improve," said Lynn Franco, director of The Consumer Conference Board Consumer Research Center. "Income expectations remain very pessimistic, and consumers are entering the holiday season in a very frugal mood."

Fewer consumers foresee an improvement in business conditions over the next six months: 20.0% compared to 20.8% in October. On the other hand, fewer expect conditions to get worse: 15.1% compared to 18.2% in October.

Consumers were also feeling slightly better about the labor market. Those expecting there to be fewer jobs fell to 23.1% from 26.1%. However, fewer people think there will be an increase in jobs: 15.2% compared to 16.8% in October. Further, only 10.0% expect their income to rise, down from 10.7% in October.

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