After posting a decline in September, the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index jumped 6.5 this month to stand at 94.5.
Of particular note were increases in the Present Situation Index, which edged up from 93.0 to 93.7, and the Expectations Index which posted a sharp gain from 8.6.4 to 95.0.
“A more favorable assessment of the current job market and business conditions contributed to the improvement in consumers’ view of the present situation,” said Lynn Franco, director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Looking ahead, consumers have regained confidence in the short-term outlook for the economy and labor market, and are more optimistic about their future earnings potential. With the holiday season around the corner, this boost in confidence should be a welcome sign for retailers.”
Consumers’ appraisal of current conditions was moderately more favorable in October than in September. While the proportion saying conditions are “good” inched up from 24.2% to 24.5%, those claiming business conditions are “bad” also increased slightly, from 21.2% to 21.7%.
Consumers’ assessment of the job market improved moderately, with those saying jobs are “plentiful” increasing from 16.3% to 16.5%, and those who think jobs are “hard to get” declining slightly from 29.4% to 29.1%.
Consumers’ optimism, which had declined considerably in September, improved in October. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months increased from 19.0% to 19.6%, while those expecting them to worsen fell from 11.4% to 9.3%.
Consumers’ outlook for the labor market also improved markedly. Those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead increased to 16.8% from 16.0%, while those anticipating fewer jobs fell from 16.9% to 13.9%.
The proportion of consumers looking for growth in their incomes rose from 16.9% in September to 17.7% in October, while those saying incomes will drop fell from 13.4% to 11.6%.
The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen around what consumers buy and watch. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was October 16.