NEW YORK—U.S. shoppers have entered the holiday season somewhat more upbeat, according to the latest consumer confidence index from The Conference Board.
The index picked up 4.2 points from October to November, to 54.1. Both of its key component indexes, present situation and expectations, also rose. Expectations provided most of the fuel by rising 6.7 points from October to 74.2. Present situations increased 0.5 point to 24.0.
In the survey from which the indexes are derived, the responding consumers gave a more favorable picture of the current jobs market, while their assessment of current business conditions was virtually unchanged from last month. Consumers’ short-term outlook was also more rosy, with more survey respondents foreseeing both improved business conditions and better job prospects six months down the road.
Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board’s Consumer Research Center, said the overall index finished November at its highest level in five months. “Consumers’ assessment of the current state of the economy and job market, while only slightly better than last month, suggests the economy is still expanding albeit slowly,” Franco said. “Expectations … are now at their highest level since May.”