NEW YORK-A more upbeat outlook for the economy down the road brought a modest increase to the consumer confidence index this month, as compiled by The Conference Board.
The index finished at 73.7, up 0.6 point from October and its highest level in more than four and one-half years, according to Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board’s Consumer Research Center. Key to this increase was a gain of 1.1 points in the expectations index, one of the overall number’s two component indexes, to 85.1. The present situation index was down 0.1 point from October, at 56.6.
“Over the past few months, consumers have grown increasingly more upbeat about the current and expected state of the job market, and this turnaround in sentiment is helping to boost confidence,” Franco said.
Indeed, the assessment of consumers surveyed for the monthly indicators was that the labor market both now and down the road is in good shape, with increases in the percentages of those who said jobs are now “plentiful” and for those who anticipate more jobs down the road. The percentage of those saying current business conditions are “good” declined, but the percentage of those expecting business conditions to pick up in the months ahead increased.