Economy Watch: Consumer Confidence Slips in October

After back-to-back monthly gains, the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index declined in October.

shoppingThe Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had increased in September, dropped in October, according to the organization on Tuesday. The Index now stands at 98.6 (1985 = 100), compared with 103.5 in September. The Present Situation Index decreased from 127.9 to 120.6, while the Expectations Index declined from 87.2 last month to 83.9.

Consumers’ appraisal of current conditions softened in October, perhaps because of lackluster economic news, or maybe pre-election jitters. The number of people saying business conditions are “good” was down from 27.7 percent to 26.2 percent, while those saying business conditions are “bad” increased from 15.8 percent to 17.7 percent.

Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was also less positive than the month before. Those stating jobs are “plentiful” decreased from 27.6 percent to 24.3 percent, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” declined marginally from 22.3 percent to 22.1 percent.

Consumer confidence retreated in October, after back-to-back monthly gains, noted Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “Overall, sentiment is that the economy will continue to expand in the near-term, but at a moderate pace.” The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey is based on a probability-design random sample, and conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen.