The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® increased again in October, following a modest improvement in September. The Index now stands at 137.9 (1985=100), up from 135.3 in September. The Present Situation Index – based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions – improved 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 this month.
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 October 18.
“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),” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “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 percent to 40.5 percent, while those claiming business conditions are “bad” decreased from 9.6 percent to 9.2 percent. Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was also more favorable. Those claiming jobs are “plentiful” increased from 44.1 percent to 45.9 percent, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” decreased from 14.1 percent to 13.2 percent.
Consumers’ optimism about the short-term future increased further in October. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions will improve over the next six months increased from 25.8 percent to 26.3 percent, while those expecting business conditions will worsen declined, from 8.3 percent to 7.4 percent.
Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was somewhat mixed. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead decreased from 22.1 percent to 21.9 percent, but those anticipating fewer jobs also decreased, from 11.4 percent to 10.5 percent. Regarding their short-term income prospects, the percentage of consumers expecting an improvement rose from 22.5 percent to 24.7 percent, but the proportion expecting a decrease increased from 7.6 percent to 8.5 percent.
Source: October 2018 Consumer Confidence Survey®
The Conference Board / Release #6046
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.
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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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