U.S. Consumer Confidence Slightly Drops in October
By Xavier Fontdegloria
Consumer confidence in the U.S. decreased slightly in October as
the short-term outlook worsened amid a new rise in Covid-19
infections, according to data from The Conference Board released
The consumer confidence index fell to 100.9 in October from a
downwardly revised 101.3 in September. Economists polled by The
Wall Street Journal expected consumer sentiment to edge up slightly
The present situation index, which reflects consumers assessment
of current business and labor market conditions, increased to 104.6
from 98.9 the previous month. The expectations index, which gauges
short-term outlook for income, business and labor market
conditions, ticked down to 98.4 in October from 102.9 the prior
October's decline follows a sharp improvement in consumer
sentiment the prior month. The indicator is still far from
February's pre-pandemic level of 132.60.
Americans' expectations decline was driven primarily by a
softening in the short-term outlook for jobs, said Lynn Franco,
senior director of economic indicators at The Conference Board.
"There is little to suggest that consumers foresee the economy
gaining momentum in the final months of 2020, especially with
Covid-19 cases on the rise and unemployment still high," she
Consumers' assessment of current conditions improved further in
October, with the percentage of consumers claiming that business
conditions are good stabilizing at 17.5% while that of those
claiming business conditions are bad falling to 33.9% from 37%.
Consumers' assessment of the labor market also was more
Looking ahead, however, consumers are less optimistic, with more
Americans expecting business conditions to worsen in the next six
months and anticipating fewer jobs.
The Conference Board's consumer confidence figures are in
contrast with the University of Michigan's preliminary gauge of
sentiment for the month, released on Oct. 16, which signaled
consumer sentiment edging up slightly.
Write to Xavier Fontdegloria at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 27, 2020 10:33 ET (14:33 GMT)
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