October 27, 2020
Consumer confidence dipped within the United States of America for October, according to the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index. The performance reflected a marginal decline to 100.9 points (1985=100) in October, from 101.3 points in September. According to the Conference Board, “the Present Situation Index – based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions – increased from 98.9 to 104.6. However, the Expectations Index – based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions – decreased from 102.9 in September to 98.4 this month.”
In October, consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved. Notably, the percentage of customers believing that business conditions are “good” was relatively unchanged from 17.6% to 17.5%, while those believing that business conditions are “bad” decreased from 37.0% to 33.9%. Regarding the labour market, consumers believed it was favorable. The percentage of consumers that say jobs are “plentiful” rose from 23.6% to 26.5%, while those who believe jobs are “hard to get” fell marginally from 20.3% to 19.9%.
However, consumers are now less confident than a month ago about the short-term outlook. The proportion of customers anticipating business conditions will increase over the next six-months marginally declined from 36.7% to 36.3%, while those anticipating business conditions will worsen rose from 15.8% to 17.0%. The morale of consumers with respect to the labour market was mixed. In the months ahead, whilst the percentage of those expecting more jobs increased marginally from 32.9% to 33.2%, the proportion of those expecting less jobs also rose from 16.1% to 20.2%. Concerning their short-term income prospects, the percentage of consumers expecting an increase improved from 17.3% to 18.4%, but the proportion anticipating a decline also rose, from 13.0% to 14.2%.
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