By Xavier Fontdegloria


Consumer confidence in the U.S. declined for the second consecutive month in November amid a continued surge in Covid-19 infections across the country, according to data from The Conference Board released Tuesday.

The consumer confidence index decreased to 96.1 in November from an upwardly revised 101.4 in October. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal expected consumer sentiment to slip to 98.0.

The present situation index, which reflects consumers assessment of current business and labor market conditions, fell slightly to 105.9 from 106.2 the previous month. The expectations index, which gauges short-term outlook for income, business and labor market conditions, was sharply down to 89.5 in November from 98.2 in October.

November marks the second consecutive month of declines for the index, signaling mounting worries among Americans amid the rise in Covid-19 cases and tightening restrictions across the country. Consumer confidence remains far from February's pre-pandemic level of 132.60.

American consumers noted a moderation in business conditions, suggesting growth has slowed in the fourth quarter, said Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at The Conference Board.

"Heading into 2021, consumers do not foresee the economy, nor the labor market, gaining strength. In addition, the resurgence of Covid-19 is further increasing uncertainty and exacerbating concerns about the outlook," she said.

Consumers' appraisal of current conditions was relatively unchanged in November. However, Americans have grown less optimistic about the short-term outlook and the job market.

The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead declined to 25.9% from 32%, while those anticipating fewer jobs increased moderately to 20.5% from 19.8%.

The Conference Board's consumer confidence figures are in line with the University of Michigan's preliminary gauge of sentiment for the month, released on Nov. 13, which signaled consumer sentiment waning in early November. The final reading for the indicator will be released on Nov. 25.


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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 24, 2020 10:28 ET (15:28 GMT)

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