Consumer confidence rises in December

The Consumer Confidence Index rose in December to 52.9 (1985=100) compared with 50.6 in November, the Conference Board reported yesterday. The Present Situation Index declined to 18.8 in December from 21.2 in November, and the Expectations Index increased to 75.6 from 70.3 last month, according to the report.

“Consumer confidence posted yet another moderate gain in December as expectations for the short-term future increased to the highest level in two years,” said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. “The Present Situation Index, however, continued to lose ground and remains at a 26-year low. A more optimistic outlook for business and labor market conditions was the driving force behind the increase in the Expectations Index.”

Consumers’ assessment of current conditions declined in December, with those claiming business conditions are “bad” increasing to 46.6 percent in December from 44.5 percent in November, while those claiming conditions are “good” decreased to 7 percent in December compared with 8.1 percent in November. Consumers’ appraisal of the job market also was mixed, and their short-term outlook improved slightly, according to the report.

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