U.S. Consumer Confidence Index Rises To 18-Year High In October

U.S. Consumer Confidence Index Rises To 18-Year High In October

A report released by the Conference Board on Tuesday showed a continued increase in U.S. consumer confidence in the month of October.

The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index rose to 137.9 in October from a downwardly revised 135.3 in September.

Economists had expected the consumer confidence index to drop to 136.3 from the 138.4 originally reported for the previous month.

With the increase, the consumer confidence index reached its highest level since hitting 142.5 in September of 2000.

The report said the present situation index climbed to 172.8 in October from 169.4 in September, reflecting an improvement in consumers’ assessment of current conditions.

The percentage of consumers saying business conditions are “good” inched up to 40.5 percent from 39.9 percent, while those claiming conditions are “bad” edged down to 9.2 percent from 9.6 percent.

Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was also more favorable, with those claiming jobs are “plentiful” rising to 45.9 percent from 44.1 percent and those claiming jobs are “hard to get” dipping to 13.2 percent from 14.1 percent.

Reflecting a continued increase in optimism about the short-term future, the expectations index also rose to 144.6 in October from 112.5 in September.

The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions will improve over the next six months crept up to 26.3 percent from 25.8 percent, while those expecting conditions will worsen dipped to 7.4 percent from 8.3 percent.

Meanwhile, the Conference Board said the outlook for the labor market was somewhat mixed, as consumers expecting more jobs in the months ahead edged down to 21.9 percent from 22.1 percent but those anticipating fewer jobs also slipped to 10.5 percent from 11.4 percent.

The University of Michigan released a separate report last Friday showing consumer sentiment in the U.S. deteriorated by slightly more than initially estimated in the month of October.

The report said the consumer sentiment index for October was downwardly revised to 98.6 from the preliminary reading of 99.0.

Economists had expected the consumer sentiment index to be unrevised at 99.0, which was still down from 100.1 in September.

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