Consumer Confidence Index gains ten points

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index registered another solid gain in November. The Index now stands at 91.7 (1985=100), up from 81.7 in October. The Present Situation Index surged to 80.1 from 67. The Expectations Index rose to 99.4 from 91.5.

“Consumer confidence is now at its highest level since the fall of 2002,” says Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board’s Consumer Research Center. “The improvement in the Present Situation Index, especially in the jobs component, suggests that consumers believe a slow but sure labor market turnaround is underway. The rise in expectations is a signal that consumers will end this year much more upbeat than when the year began.”

Consumers’ assessment of current business conditions improved significantly in November. Those saying jobs are “hard to get” declined to 29.5% from 33.7%. Those saying jobs are abundant increased to 13.2% from 11.8%. Consumers’ appraisal of current business conditions also improved. Those rating conditions as “good” increased to 19.9% from 17.1%. Those claiming conditions were “bad” fell to 24% from 28.1%.

Consumers’ short-term outlook continues to improve. Consumers anticipating business conditions to pick up over the next six months rose to 24.1% from 23.5%. Consumers expecting the opposite declined to 7.1% from 11%.

But the employment outlook is mixed. Those anticipating more jobs to become available in the next six months declined to 18.2% from 19.6%. Those expecting fewer jobs to become available, however, decreased to 17.6% from 20.4%. The proportion of consumers anticipating an increase in their incomes rose to 19% from 16.9%.

The Consumer Confidence Survey is based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households. The monthly survey is conducted for The Conference Board by NFO WorldGroup. NFO is one of TNS group of companies. The cutoff date for November’s preliminary results was the 17.