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Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index declined slightly in September

Staff Writer |
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had improved marginally in August, declined slightly in September.

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The index now stands at 119.8 (1985=100), down from 120.4 in August.

The Present Situation Index decreased from 148.4 to 146.1, while the Expectations Index rose marginally from 101.7 last month to 102.2.

The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey, based on a probability-design random sample, 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 September 18.

"Consumer confidence decreased slightly in September after a marginal improvement in August," said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board.

"Confidence in Texas and Florida, however, decreased considerably, as these two states were the most severely impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

"Despite the slight downtick in confidence, consumers' assessment of current conditions remains quite favorable and their expectations for the short-term suggest the economy will continue expanding at its current pace."

Consumers' assessment of current conditions moderated in September. Those saying business conditions are "good" decreased slightly from 34.5 percent to 33.9 percent, while those saying business conditions are "bad" increased from 13.2 percent to 13.8 percent.

Consumers' appraisal of the labor market was also somewhat less upbeat. Those stating jobs are "plentiful" declined from 34.4 percent to 32.6 percent, however, those claiming jobs are "hard to get" decreased marginally from 18.4 percent to 18.1 percent.

Consumers' optimism about the short-term outlook was somewhat better in September.

The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months rose slightly from 19.8 percent to 20.2 percent, but those expecting business conditions to worsen increased from 8.0 percent to 9.9 percent.

Consumers' outlook for the labor market was more favorable than in August.

The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead increased from 16.8 percent to 19.5 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs rose marginally from 13.2 percent to 13.5 percent.

Regarding their short-term income prospects, the percentage of consumers expecting an improvement increased moderately from 19.9 percent to 20.5 percent, while the proportion expecting a decline was virtually unchanged at 8.3 percent.


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