Continuing a downward slide, the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index decreased in December after a “modest” decline in November — perhaps foreshadowing slowing economic growth to come in the new year.
According to the Conference Board, the index now stands at 128.1 (1985=100), down from 136.4 in November. The Present Situation Index, which is based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions, also decreased, to 171.6 from 172.7. The Expectations Index, which is based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business and labor market conditions, saw a bigger drop, from last month’s 112.3 to just 99.1 in December.
“Consumer confidence decreased in December, following a moderate decline in November,” Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at the Conference Board, said in a statement.
Franco added, “Expectations regarding job prospects and business conditions weakened, but still suggest that the economy will continue expanding at a solid pace in the short term. While consumers are ending 2018 on a strong note, back-to-back declines in expectations are reflective of an increasing concern that the pace of economic growth will begin moderating in the first half of 2019.”
What Your Peers Are Reading
Consumers are less enthusiastic about current conditions than they were last month, with the percentage of consumers saying business conditions are “good” falling to 37.2% from 42.0%; in addition, those saying that business conditions are “bad” rose to 11.3% from 10.7%.