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Consumer Confidence Index Edges Up


The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index edged up slightly this month from its all time low in October, The Conference Board reported.

The Index stands at 44.9 in November, up from 33.8 in October. The Expectations Index also rose, to 46.7 from 35.7 in October. However the Present Situation Index decreased to 42.2 from October's 43.5.

"The persistent declines in the Present Situation Index suggest that the economy has weakened further in the final months of this year," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. "Inflation expectations, which have been at historically high levels in recent months, subsided considerably as a result of falling gas prices. But, despite the improvement in the Expectations Index this month, consumers remain extremely pessimistic and the possibility that economic growth will improve in the first half of 2009 remains highly unlikely," she added.

Other highlights of the survey included:
  • Consumer assessments of current conditions continued to deteriorate in November. Those claiming business conditions are "bad" grew from 37.1% to 40.3%. The number calling business conditions "good" edged up to 9.9% from 9.4% last month.
  • Consumers saying jobs are "hard to get" rose to 37.2% from 36.6% in October. Those calling jobs "plentiful" declined to 8.8% from 9.0%.
  • Consumers' short-term outlook improved somewhat. Those expecting conditions to worsen in the next six months dropped to 28.1% from 36.5%. Those expecting improvement climbed nearly two points, from 9.6% to 11.4%
The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey is based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households.

For more information visit The Conference Board.