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Economy in Brief

U.S. Consumer Confidence Pulls Back to Five-Month Low
by Tom Moeller  November 25, 2014

The Conference Board reading of consumer confidence retreated to 88.7 this month (+23.2% y/y) from 94.1 in October, revised from 94.5. The latest figure disappointed expectations for 96.0 in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. During the last ten years, there has been a 45% correlation between the level of confidence and the three-month change in real personal consumption expenditures.

The overall expectations reading declined 7.2% (+22.4% y/y) to 87.0 from 93.8, revised from 95.0. The present situation figure fell 3.3% (+24.2% y/y) to 91.3 from 94.4, initially reported as 93.7.

Business conditions were rated as good by a lessened 24.0% of respondents. Jobs were viewed as hard to get by 29.2% of respondents, near the expansion low. A depressed 15.0% thought there would be more jobs in six months and an easier 17.6% thought business conditions would be better in six months. An increased 52.2% of respondents were going to buy a major appliance but just 3.3% of respondents planned to buy a new automobile within the next six months, the least in a year. Expectations for the inflation rate in twelve months slipped to a nine month low of 5.2%.

By age group, confidence amongst individuals aged 35-54 fell to the lowest level in six months. Confidence for those under age 35 years old back-pedaled from its recent high. For those over 55 it fell modestly.

The Consumer Confidence data is available in Haver's CBDB database. The total indexes appear in USECON and the market expectations are in AS1REPNA.

Conference Board (SA, 1985=100) Nov Oct Sep Y/Y % 2013 2012 2011
Consumer Confidence Index 88.7 94.1 89.0 23.2 73.2 67.1 58.1
  Present Situation 91.3 94.4 93.0 24.2 67.6 49.8 36.1
  Expectations 87.0 93.8 86.4 22.4 77.0 78.6 72.8
Consumer Confidence By Age Group
  Under 35 Years 108.6 121.9 105.7 29.0 93.1 86.5 77.3
  Aged 35-54 Years 89.4 96.4 99.4 12.6 76.8 68.5 59.8
  Over 55 Years 77.9 80.3 73.2 27.7 61.2 56.7 47.3
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