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Consumer Confidence Index improves in December

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Consumer Confidence Index improves in December

While confidence is up, expectations are somewhat mixed.

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had decreased moderately in November, improved in December. The Index increased 4.2% from November, while the Present Situation Index increased 3.9% and the Expectations Index improved 4.4%.

"Consumer confidence improved in December, following a moderate decrease in November," said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. "As 2015 draws to a close, consumers' assessment of the current state of the economy remains positive, particularly their assessment of the job market. Looking ahead to 2016, consumers are expecting little change in both business conditions and the labor market. Expectations regarding their financial outlook are mixed, but the optimists continue to outweigh the pessimists." 

Consumers' appraisal of current conditions was mixed in December. Those saying business conditions are "good" increased from 25.0% to 27.3%. However, those saying business conditions are "bad" also increased from 16.9% to 19.8%. Consumers, however, were more positive about the labor market. The proportion claiming jobs are "plentiful" increased from 21.0% to 24.1%, while those claiming jobs are "hard to get" decreased to 24.7% from 25.8%.

"Looking ahead to 2016, consumers are expecting little change in both business conditions and the labor market"

Consumers' optimism about the short-term outlook was somewhat mixed in December. Those expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months decreased slightly to 15.2% from 15.7%. However, those expecting business conditions to worsen increased slightly to 11.0% from 10.6%.

Consumers' outlook for the labor market was more optimistic. Those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead increased slightly to 12.9% from 12.0%, while those anticipating fewer jobs decreased from 18.5% to 16.6%. The proportion of consumers expecting their incomes to increase declined from 17.3% to 16.3%. However, the proportion expecting a reduction in income decreased from 11.8% to 9.7%.


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