The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which has been declining since the summer, declined further in November and now stands at 87.3 (1985=100), down from 95.2 in October, the Board reported.
The Present Situation Index decreased to 115.4 from 118.0 in October, and the Expectations Index declined to 68.7 from 80.0, according to the Board.
“This month’s deterioration in confidence was due primarily to the sharp decline in the Expectations Index. Consumers’ apprehension about the short-term outlook is being fueled by volatility in financial markets, rising prices at the pump and the likelihood of larger home heating bills this winter,” said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center.
“The Present Situation Index, despite losing ground, still suggests the economy is expanding, albeit slowly,” she added.
Among the data released:
- Consumers’ assessment of present conditions waned in November. Those claiming conditions are “good” decreased to 22.3% from 23.2%. Those saying conditions are “bad” increased to 19.1% from 16.6%.
- Consumers’ assessment of the job market was mixed. Those saying jobs are “hard to get” edged down to 21.3% from 22.8%, while those claiming jobs are “plentiful” decreased to 23.2% from 24.1% in October.
- Consumers’ expectations for the next six months plummeted. Those expecting business conditions to worsen increased to 16.7% in Nov. from 13.9%. Those anticipating business conditions to improve declined to 12.4% from 14.0%.
- The outlook for the labor market was also more pessimistic. The percentage of consumers expecting more jobs in the months ahead fell to 10.8% from 13.3%, while those anticipating fewer jobs rose to 23.1% from 20.2%.
- The proportion of consumers expecting their incomes to decrease in the months ahead increased to 11.0% from 9.1%.