Consumer Confidence Falls Right Before Holiday Shopping Season

After dropping about 10 points, the Conference Board index fell from 126.1 to 125.5 in the first half of November. This was the 4th straight decline as you can see from the chart below. It's the longest string of losses since June 2012.

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Like the University of Michigan index, the present index fell and the expectations index rose. Specifically, the Present Situation index fell from 173.5 to 166.9 and the Expectations index rose from 94.5 to 97.9. The consumer’s perception of current business conditions weakened. Those calling current conditions good for firms rose from 39.7% to 40.2%. And those calling conditions bad increased from 11% to 13.8%. Net percentage fell 2.3%.

The consumer’s opinion of the current labor market got worse, but expectations improved. Those saying jobs are plentiful fell from 47.7% to 44.8% and those saying jobs are hard to get rose from 11.6% to 12.7%. That’s a net decline of 4%. 

Those expecting more jobs fell from 16.9% to 15.7% and those expecting fewer jobs fell from 18% to 13.2%. Net percentage went from -1.1% to +2.5%. There was barley any change in expectations for business conditions. Finally, the net percentage expecting an improvement in incomes in the short term rose 1.1%.


Housing market is improving as yearly price growth is bottoming. Pending home sales index was solid, and purchase applications growth was good. 

Redbook same-store sales growth was weak. But jobless claims were very low. Conference Board survey of consumer confidence wasn’t as inspiring as the University of Michigan report.

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