The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index rose again in October, coming in at 137.9 (1985=100), up from 135.3 in September.
The Present Situation Index – based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions – improved from 169.4 to 172.8. The Expectations Index – based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business and labor market conditions – increased from 112.5 last month to 114.6 this month.
“Consumer Confidence increased in October, following a modest gain in September, and remains at levels last seen in the fall of 2000 (September 2000, 142.5),” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ assessment of present-day conditions remains quite positive, primarily due to strong employment growth.”
Consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved in October. The percentage of consumers saying business conditions are “good” increased from 39.9 percent to 40.5 percent, while those claiming business conditions are “bad” decreased from 9.6 percent to 9.2 percent. Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was also more favorable. Those claiming jobs are “plentiful” increased from 44.1 percent to 45.9 percent, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” decreased from 14.1 percent to 13.2 percent.
“The Expectations Index posted another gain in October, suggesting that consumers do not foresee the economy losing steam anytime soon,” Franco added. “Rather, they expect the strong pace of growth to carry over into early 2019.”
Consumers’ optimism about the short-term future increased further in October. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions will improve over the next six months increased from 25.8 percent to 26.3 percent, while those expecting business conditions will worsen declined, from 8.3 percent to 7.4 percent.
The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey is based on a probability-design random sample and is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was October 18.