Consumer Confidence Won't Rebound Soon, Business Group Says

Compiled By Jill Jusko Consumer confidence continued its downward trend in November, according to The Conference Board's latest Consumer Confidence Index. The index dropped by three points in November and now stands at 82.2, down from 85.3 in October and 97.6 in September. November marked its fifth consecutive monthly decline. "A turnaround in confidence levels is not likely before year's end, nor are retailers likely to enjoy a blockbuster holiday season," says Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board's Consumer Research Center. The index compares monthly results with 1985, when the average index stood at 100. It is based on results from a monthly survey of 5,000 U.S. households. Consumers were more pessimistic in November about economic conditions. Those rating current business conditions as "bad" rose from 20.7% in October to 21.4% in November, while those rating conditions as "good" declined from 18.6% to 16.4%. On the other hand, consumers were more optimistic about economic prospects six months from now. Those who expect conditions to worsen dipped from 20.3% to 17.3%; however, those expecting an improvement in business conditions decreased from 17.6% to 16.8%. The employment outlook was also slightly more positive, with 14.1% of respondents expecting more jobs to become available vs. 13.9% last month. The Conference Board, based in New York, is a business membership and research organization.

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