U.S. Consumer Confidence Jumps to Four-Month High, Beats Estimate
U.S. consumers loosened their purse strings over the Black Friday weekend as their confidence in the economy increased to a four-month high.
After six months of steady declines, consumers’ assessment of current conditions finally improved. The consumer index for November came in at 56, up from a revised 40.9 in October, the Conference Board reported Tuesday. Economists polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting a reading of 44.
The index is set at 100 for 1985, a benchmark year that saw no significant trough or peak in the economy.
“Confidence has bounced back to levels last seen during the summer,” said Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board Consumer Research Center. “Consumers appear to be entering the holiday season in better spirits, though overall readings remain historically weak.”
Consumers’ apprehension regarding the short-term outlook for business conditions, jobs and income prospects also eased considerably. The present situation index increased to 38.3 from 27.1, and the expectations index rose to 67.8 from 50.0.
When asked about their present-day conditions, those stating business conditions are “good” increased to 13.3 percent from 11.2 percent, while those stating business conditions are “bad” declined to 38.2 percent from 43.7 percent. And people claiming jobs are “hard to get” decreased to 42.1 percent from 46.9 percent.
The proportion of consumers anticipating business conditions to improve over the next six months increased to 13.6 percent from 10.2 percent, while those anticipating business conditions will worsen declined to 15.8 percent from 21.3 percent.
Consumers’ outlook for the job market also improved. Those expecting more jobs in the months ahead rose to 12.9 percent from 10.8 percent, while those expecting fewer jobs decreased to 24.1 percent from 27.6 percent. The proportion of consumers anticipating an increase in their incomes rose to 14.9 percent from 11.1 percent.
The Dow Jones industrial average (DJI:^DJI) put on 96.95 points, or 0.84 percent, at 11,619.96.The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SNP:^GSPC) gained 11.12 points, or 0.93 percent, at 1,203.67. The Nasdaq Composite Index (Nasdaq:^IXIC) added 15.12 points, or 0.6 percent, at 2,542.46
Signs of recovery for US? With the consumer confidence increased, people are expecting a recovery in the US’s economy. But don’t forget, we’ve seen such recovery before, and it again stumbled down on the next month. What’s your view on this?