NEW YORK-The consumer confidence index rose 3.8 points last month to finish at 72.2, its highest level of the year and marking the second straight month of an increase for the indicator, which is compiled monthly by The Conference Board.
Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board’s Consumer Research Center, said the index’s rise is a sign of “better spirits” with the holiday season approaching. “Consumers were considerably more positive in their assessment of current conditions, with improvements in the job market as the major driver,” Franco said.
Indeed, the present situation index, one of the two component indexes for overall consumer confidence, rose 7.5 points to 56.2. Larger percentages of consumers who were surveyed for the index said current business conditions and the current shape of the labor market are “good,” while fewer consumers on a percentage basis gave negative views of both current business conditions.
The expectations index, the component that measures consumers’ view of conditions in the future, gained 1.4 points to 82.9. “Consumers were modestly more upbeat about their financial situation and the short-term economic outlook,” Franco said. The surveyed consumers gave mixed reviews of both business conditions and the jobs picture over the next six months, with the percentages of consumers who rated both either “good” or “bad” heading upward in the October survey.
The Conference Board derives the monthly consumer confidence index based on a survey of consumers conducted by Nielsen.