Consumer Confidence Hits 17-Year High in October

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index increased 5.3 points to 125.9 in October. Last month’s index was upwardly revised from 119.8 to 120.6. The Present Situation Index grew 4.2 points to 151.1 after falling 1.5 points last month. The Expectations Index surged 6.1 points to 109.1, the third increase in the last four months.

“Consumer confidence increased to its highest level in almost 17 years (Dec. 2000, 128.6) in October after remaining relatively flat in September,” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved, boosted by the job market which had not received such favorable ratings since the summer of 2001. Consumers were also considerably more upbeat about the short-term outlook, with the prospect of improving business conditions as the primary driver.”

Consumers’ labor market outlook was somewhat less favorable in October. The percentage of consumers expecting more jobs in the coming months decreased marginally from 19.2% to 18.9%, but the share of those anticipating fewer jobs fell from 13.0% to 11.8%. Income expectations decreased marginally, as 20.3% of consumers expected their incomes to increase in coming months, down from 20.3% in September. The proportion expecting a decline lowered from 8.6% to 7.4%.

Read the Conference Board release.