Consumer confidence is up at a year high! The Conference Board reported that the month of October showed a reading of 72.2. The problem is that this was light against estimates, and the prior month was revised lower. The September report was initially down at 70.3 for September, but that as revised down even lower to 68.4 for the month. Bloomberg was calling for a reading of 74.0 for the month of October, with a range of 68.5 to 76.0.
This was said to be the best reading of the year by the Conference Board. The Present Situation Index increased to 56.2 from 48.7, while the Expectations Index rose to 82.9 from 81.5 last month. It is important to point out that the cutoff date for the preliminary results was October 18.
Lynn Franco of the Conference Board said:
Consumers were considerably more positive in their assessment of current conditions, with improvements in the job market as the major driver. Consumers were modestly more upbeat about their financial situation and the short-term economic outlook, and appear to be in better spirits approaching the holiday season.
Additional points are as follows:
- Those claiming business conditions are “good” rose to 16.5% from 15.3%.
- Those saying business conditions are “bad” edged down to 33.1% from 33.8%.
- Consumers’ appraisal of the labor market was also more positive. Those stating jobs are “plentiful” increased to 10.3% from 8.1%.
- Those claiming jobs are “hard to get” declined to 39.4% from 40.7%.
JON C. OGG