Consumer Confidence Declined in December

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index decreased 6.5 points to 122.1 in December. Last month’s index was downwardly revised from 129.5 to 128.6. The Present Situation Index grew 1.7 points to 156.6 after increasing 2.9 points last month. The Expectations Index fell 11.9 points to 99.1.

“Consumer confidence retreated in December after reaching a 17-year high in November,” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “The decline in confidence was fueled by a somewhat less optimistic outlook for business and job prospects in the coming months. Consumers’ assessment of current conditions, however, improved moderately. Despite the decline in confidence, consumers’ expectations remain at historically strong levels, suggesting economic growth will continue well into 2018.”

Consumers’ labor market outlook also deteriorated in December. The percentage of consumers expecting more jobs in the coming months decreased from 21.3% to 18.4%, but the share of those anticipating fewer jobs rose from 12.1% to 16.3%. Income expectations improved, as 22.3% of consumers expected their incomes to increase in coming months, up from 20.3% in November. The proportion expecting a decline also rose, from 7.6% to 8.9%.

Read the Conference Board release.