The Consumer Confidence Survey® reflects prevailing business conditions and likely developments for the months ahead. This monthly report details consumer attitudes and buying intentions, with data available by age, income, and region.
Please visit the Consumer Measures page to learn more about detailed consumer confidence data and CEO confidence data.
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index Declined Nine Points in September
24 Sep. 2019
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® decreased in September, following a slight decline in August. The Index now stands at 125.1 (1985=100), down from 134.2 in August. The Present Situation Index – based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions – decreased from 176.0 to 169.0. The Expectations Index – based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business and labor market conditions – declined from 106.4 last month to 95.8 this month.
“Consumer confidence declined in September, following a moderate decrease in August,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers were less positive in their assessment of current conditions and their expectations regarding the short-term outlook also weakened. The escalation in trade and tariff tensions in late August appears to have rattled consumers. However, this pattern of uncertainty and volatility has persisted for much of the year and it appears confidence is plateauing. While confidence could continue hovering around current levels for months to come, at some point this continued uncertainty will begin to diminish consumers’ confidence in the expansion.”
The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey®, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was September 13.
Consumers’ appraisal of current-day conditions was somewhat less favorable in September. Those claiming business conditions are “good” decreased from 40.9 percent to 37.3 percent, while those saying business conditions are “bad” increased from 9.9 percent to 12.7 percent. Consumers’ assessment of the job market was also less favorable. Those saying jobs are “plentiful” decreased from 50.3 percent to 44.8 percent, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” declined slightly from 12.0 percent to 11.6 percent.
Consumers were less optimistic about the short-term outlook in September. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions will be better six months from now decreased from 21.6 percent to 19.0 percent, while those expecting business conditions will worsen increased from 10.2 percent to 14.3 percent.
Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was also less upbeat. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead decreased from 19.9 percent to 17.5 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs increased from 13.7 percent to 15.7 percent. Regarding their short-term income prospects, the percentage of consumers expecting an improvement decreased from 24.7 percent to 19.0 percent, however the proportion expecting a decrease also declined, from 6.3 percent to 5.6 percent.
Source: September 2019 Consumer Confidence Survey®
The Conference Board / Release #6121
The Conference Board publishes the Consumer Confidence Index® at 10 a.m. ET on the last Tuesday of every month. Subscription information and the technical notes to this series are available on The Conference Board website: https://www.conference-board.org/data/consumerdata.cfm.
About The Conference Board
The Conference Board is the member-driven think tank that delivers trusted insights for what’s ahead. Founded in 1916, we are a non-partisan, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States. www.conference-board.org.
Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global performance management company that provides a comprehensive understanding of what consumers watch and buy. Nielsen's Watch segment provides media and advertising clients with Total Audience measurement services for all devices on which content — video, audio and text — is consumed. The Buy segment offers consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers the industry's only global view of retail performance measurement. By integrating information from its Watch and Buy segments and other data sources, Nielsen also provides its clients with analytics that help improve performance. Nielsen, an S&P 500 company, has operations in over 100 countries, covering more than 90 percent of the world’s population. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.
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