The Conference Board reports the Consumer Confidence Index increased again in October after rising in September. The index now stands at 72.2, up from 68.4 in September. The index is now at its highest level of the year.
Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, says consumers were considerably more positive in their assessment of current conditions, with improvements in the job market as the major driver. "Consumers were modestly more upbeat about their financial situation and the short-term economic outlook, and appear to be in better spirits approaching the holiday season," she notes.
Consumers were generally more optimistic about the short-term outlook in October. Those anticipating an improvement in business conditions over the next six months increased to 21.4% from 17.9%. However, those expecting business conditions to worsen edged up to 15.1% from 14.5%.
Still, consumers’ outlook for the labor market was mixed. Those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead increased to 19.2% from 18.1%, while those expecting fewer jobs increased to 20.3% from 18.7%. The proportion of consumers expecting an increase in their incomes edged up to 16.7% from 15.9%.