Consumer Confidence Index inches upward in October
Casual Living Staff -- Casual Living, October 29, 2010
The Consumer Confidence Index experienced a slight increase in October after a decline in September.
The Index now stands at 50.2 (1985=100) versus September's 48.6 ranking. Additionally, the Present Situation Index increased to 23.9 from 23.3, and the Expectations Index improved to 67.8 from 65.5.
These are the results of the monthly Consumer Confidence Survey, which is based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households. It is conducted for The Conference Board by custom research company TNF.
"Consumer confidence, while slightly improved from September levels, is still hovering at historically low levels," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. "Consumers' assessment of the current state of the economy is relatively unchanged, primarily because labor market conditions have yet to significantly improve. And, despite the uptick in Expectations, consumers continue to be quite concerned about the short-term outlook. Both present and future indicators point toward more of the same in the coming months."
The survey found consumers' appraisal of current conditions to be "somewhat mixed" this month.
Those claiming business conditions are "bad" decreased to 41.9% from 46.0% while those claiming business conditions are "good" edged up to 8.5% from 8.2%. Yet, consumers' assessment of the labor market "was less favorable" in October, as those claiming jobs are "hard to get" rose to 46.1% from 45.8% and those stating jobs are "plentiful" decreased to 3.5% from 3.8%.
"Consumers' expectations, while still quite bleak, were less pessimistic in October," the board noted.
Those expecting an improvement in business conditions over the next six months rose to 16.0% from 15.0%, while those expecting business conditions will worsen declined to 14.1% from 16.6%.
Consumers were also mixed about future job prospects. The percentage of consumers anticipating fewer jobs in the months ahead declined to 22.0% from 22.6%. "However, the percentage anticipating more jobs declined to 14.1% from 14.5%," the survey found. "The proportion of consumers expecting an increase in their incomes declined to 9.1% from 10.3%."