With the ongoing job and economic growth, in November consumer confidence improved. Consumers were optimistic about both the current situation and the near term outlook.
The Conference Board reported that the Consumer Confidence Index jumped to 107.1 in November, from an upwardly revised 100.8 in October. Both the present situation index and the expectations index rebounded. The present situation index increased to 130.3, from 123.1 and the expectations index hit 91.7, up from 86.
Consumers were quite optimistic about current business conditions. Consumers’ assessments of current business conditions shifted to “good”, from both “bad” and “normal”. The share of respondents rating business conditions “good” rose by 2.7 percentage points from 26.5% to 29.2%, with the net gain coming from the net declines in assessments of “bad” (2.5 percentage points) and “normal” (0.2 percentage point).
Expectations of business conditions over the next six months were mixed. The share of respondents expecting “same” increased from 71.8% to 74.7%. Most of the 2.9 percentage point net increase (1.8 percentage points) came from the share of respondents expecting future business conditions to be worse, an upgrade, while the rest (1.1 percentage points) came from the share of respondents expecting better business conditions, a downgrade.
Similar to consumers’ assessments of current business conditions, consumers’ assessments of current employment conditions strengthened. The share of respondents reporting that jobs were “plentiful” increased from 25.3% to 26.9%. All of the 1.6 percentage point net increase was the result of a net decline in assessments of “jobs not so plentiful”. Assessments of jobs “hard to get” were unchanged.
Expectations of employment over the next six months improved. The share of respondents expecting “fewer jobs” declined from 16.6% to 13.8%, while the shares of respondents expecting “more jobs” and “same jobs” increased.
The Conference Board also reported the share of respondents planning to buy a home within six months. The share of respondents planning to buy a home increased to 6.5%, from 5.5%. The share of respondents planning to buy a newly constructed home and an existing home rose to 1.3% and 3.9%, respectively; the share of respondents who were “uncertain” whether they would buy a newly constructed or an existing home decreased to 1.3%.