With the holiday shopping season looming, consumer confidence declined for the second month in a row in November as Americans expressed fears about the job market.
The Conference Board said today that its Consumer Confidence Index fell nearly nine points to 90.4 from 99.1 in October.
“Consumer confidence retreated in November, following a moderate decrease in October,” The Conference Board director of economic indicators Lynn Franco said in a statement.
“The decline was mainly due to a less favorable view of the job market. Consumers’ appraisal of current business conditions, on the other hand, was mixed. Fewer consumers said conditions had improved, while the proportion saying conditions had deteriorated also declined. Heading into 2016, consumers are cautious about the labor market and expect little change in business conditions.
Consumers’ assessment of current conditions was less positive in November. Those who said business conditions are good decreased from 26.8 percent to 24.4 percent. However, those who said business conditions are bad also decreased, from 18.3 percent to 16.9 percent.
Consumers were less upbeat about the current state of the job market. Those who said jobs are plentiful decreased from 22.7 percent to 19.9 percent and those who said jobs are hard to get increased to 26.2 percent from 24.6 percent.
Consumers’ optimism about the short-term outlook declined sharply in November. The percentage of consumers who expect business conditions to improve during the next six months decreased from 18.1 percent to 14.8 percent; those who expect business conditions to worsen increased slightly to 11.0 percent from 10.4 percent.
Consumers’ outlook for the labor market also was more pessimistic. Those who anticipate more jobs in the months ahead fell from 14.4 percent to 11.6 percent; those who anticipate fewer jobs increased from 16.6 percent to 18.7 percent.
The proportion of consumers who expect their income to increase declined from 18.1 percent to 17.2 percent; the proportion who expect a decline increased from 10.5 percent to 11.8 percent.