Consumer Confidence Drops

By Staff Writer December 01, 2021

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index decreased in November, following an increase in October. The Index now stands at 109.5 (1985=100), down from 111.6 in October. The Present Situation Index—based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions—fell to 142.5 from 145.5 last month. The Expectations Index—based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions—fell to 87.6 from 89.0.

“Consumer confidence moderated in November, following a gain in October,” said Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “Expectations about short-term growth prospects ticked up, but job and income prospects ticked down. Concerns about rising prices—and, to a lesser degree, the Delta variant—were the primary drivers of the slight decline in confidence.(The cutoff date for the preliminary results was Nov. 19, before recent news of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.)

“Meanwhile, the proportion of consumers planning to purchase homes, automobiles, and major appliances over the next six months decreased. The Conference Board expects this to be a good holiday season for retailers and confidence levels suggest the economic expansion will continue into early 2022. However, both confidence and spending will likely face headwinds from rising prices and a potential resurgence of COVID-19 in the coming months.” 

Consumers’ appraisal of current business conditions was less favorable in November.

  • 17.0% of consumers said business conditions are “good,” down from 18.3%.
  • 29.0% of consumers said business conditions are “bad,” up from 25.7%.

Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was moderately more favorable.

  • 58.0% of consumers said jobs are “plentiful,” up from 54.8%.
  • Conversely, 11.1% of consumers said jobs are “hard to get,” virtually unchanged from 11.0%.

Expectations Six Months Hence

Consumers’ optimism about the short-term business conditions outlook increased in November.

  • 24.1% of consumers expect business conditions will improve, up from 22.7%.
  • 20.7% expect business conditions to worsen, down from 21.9%.

Consumers were less optimistic about the short-term labor market outlook.

  • 22.1% of consumers expect more jobs to be available in the months ahead, down from 24.4%.
  • 18.9% anticipate fewer jobs, up slightly from 18.7%.

Consumers were less positive about their short-term financial prospects.

  • 17.9% of consumers expect their incomes to increase, down from 18.4%.
  • 12.0% expect their incomes will decrease, up from 11.2%.
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Last modified on Tuesday, 07 December 2021 21:44