Photographer: Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg

Consumer Confidence in U.S. Increases to a Nine-Year High

Consumer confidence rose in November to the highest level since July 2007 on increased optimism about the U.S. labor market and economy, according to a report Tuesday from the New York-based Conference Board.

Key Points

  • Confidence index increased to 107.1 (forecast was 101.5) from a revised 100.8
  • Present conditions gauge rose to 130.3, also the highest since July 2007, from 123.1
  • Measure of consumer expectations for the next six months climbed to 91.7, the strongest since June 2015, from 86
  • Share of those who said jobs were plentiful rose to 26.9 percent from 25.3 percent

Big Picture

A little more than 29 percent, the largest share in three months, said the current economy was in good shape and more respondents indicated jobs were plentiful, which bodes well for consumer spending through the holiday-shopping season. While a majority of respondents were surveyed prior to the presidential election, a small sample of responses after it showed no impact on sentiment. Plans to purchase major appliances were the strongest since January, according to the report.

Economist Takeaways

“With the holiday season upon us, a more confident consumer should be welcome news for retailers,” Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board, said in a statement.

“The November data suggest that household confidence is strong, and we view this as constructive for consumer spending in Q4,” Blerina Uruci, an economist at Barclays Plc, wrote in a note.

The Details

  • Labor differential, which measures the difference between those saying jobs are plentiful and hard to get, climbed to the second-highest level since August 2007
  • Measure of current business conditions showed 29.2 percent of respondents said they were “good,” up from 26.5 percent
  • Share of respondents who expected their incomes to increase in the next six months was little changed at 17.5 percent after 17.4 percent
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