The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index Improved in October


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The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had improved marginally in September (an upward revision), increased again in October. The Index now stands at 125.9 (1985=100), up from 120.6 in September. The Present Situation Index increased from 146.9 to 151.1, while the Expectations Index rose from 103.0 last month to 109.1.

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 to its highest level in almost 17 years (Dec. 2000, 128.6) in October after remaining relatively flat in September,” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved, boosted by the job market which had not received such favorable ratings since the summer of 2001. Consumers were also considerably more upbeat about the short-term outlook, with the prospect of improving business conditions as the primary driver. Confidence remains high among consumers, and their expectations suggest the economy will continue expanding at a solid pace for the remainder of the year.”

Consumers’ appraisal of present-day conditions improved in October. The percentage saying business conditions are “good” increased from 33.4% to 34.5%, while those saying business conditions are “bad” rose marginally from 13.2% to 13.5%. Consumers’ assessment of the job market was more upbeat. The percentage of consumers stating jobs are “plentiful” increased from 32.7% to 36.3%, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” decreased slightly from 18.0% to 17.5%.

Consumers’ optimism about the short-term outlook also rose in October. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months increased from 20.9% to 22.2%, while those expecting business conditions to worsen decreased from 9.6% to 6.9%.

Consumers’ outlook for the job market, however, was somewhat less favorable than in September. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead decreased marginally from 19.2% to 18.9%, however, those anticipating fewer jobs declined from 13.0% to 11.8%. Regarding their short-term income prospects, the percentage of consumers expecting an improvement decreased marginally from 20.5% to 20.3%, however, the proportion expecting a decrease declined from 8.6% to 7.4%. 

About The Conference Board

The Conference Board is a global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: To provide the world's leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society. Winner of the Consensus Economics 2016 Forecast Accuracy Award (U.S.), The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States.

About Nielsen

Nielsen Holdings plc 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.

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