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Economy in Brief

U.S. Consumer Confidence Deteriorates Broadly
by Tom Moeller  November 24, 2015

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index in November unexpectedly fell for a second straight month. The overall index declined 8.8% to 90.4, the lowest level since September of 2014. The consensus expectation was for a roughly unchanged level of 99.3 in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. The decline followed a 3.4% shortfall in October. (Earlier figures were revised.) The reading of the present situation declined 5.7% (+15.4% y/y) to the lowest level since July. Consumer expectations dropped 11.4% (-12.0% y/y), off for the third straight month.

A lessened 24.4% of respondents perceived that the present business situation was good, the least in three months. That was followed by fewer perceiving that jobs were plentiful. Jobs were viewed as hard to get by the most respondents (26.2%) since July.

The expected outlook similarly deteriorated. The decline was led by fewer respondents believing that business conditions would get better. A lessened number of respondents felt there would continue to be more jobs and fewer who expected an increase in income. Expectations for the inflation rate in twelve months dipped to 5.0%, the middle of the range during the last year.

Buying plans included a lower percentage of respondents planning to by a new home, the least in three months. Plans to buy an existing home jumped, however, to the highest level since early last year. Plans to buy a major appliance sales strengthened to the greatest since July, and plans to buy an automobile also improved, notably for a used one.

By age group, confidence amongst those under age 35 fell to the lowest level in four months. Confidence also was depressed for middle-aged individuals. Confidence amongst individuals over age 55 similarly eased to the lowest point since September of last year.

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 % 2014 2013 2012
Consumer Confidence Index 90.4 99.1 102.6 -0.7 86.9 73.2 67.1
  Present Situation 108.1 114.6 120.3 15.4 87.4 67.6 49.8
  Expectations 78.6 88.7 90.8 -12.0 86.6 77.0 78.6
Consumer Confidence By Age Group
  Under 35 Years 100.6 115.0 124.4 -9.7 106.6 93.1 86.5
  Aged 35-54 Years 98.1 110.1 113.2 5.6 92.4 76.8 68.5
  Over 55 Years 76.4 82.3 81.8 -2.2 73.8 61.2 56.7
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