Report: December Consumer Confidence Rises
U.S. consumer confidence rose in December due to an increase in short-term expectations, though consumers “remain far from optimistic,” the Conference Board reported Thursday (Dec. 27).
According to Marketwatch, the consumer confidence index rose to 88.6 from a revised reading of 87.8 in November. The initial estimate for November was 87.3.
The consumer outlook on business conditions, employment, inflation and stock prices “improved marginally,” according to Lynn Franco, director of consumer research at the private Conference Board.
December’s confidence reading is below last year’s level of 110.0, as consumers have been concerned about higher energy prices and falling home prices.
Analysts surveyed by MarketWatch had expected a December reading of 86.4.
This month’s expectations index level rose to 75.5 from 69.1 in November, yet remains below 96.3 during the same period in the prior year.
Franco said the present situation index has exhibited “persistent declines” – reaching 108.3 in December, compared with 130.5 in the prior year: “In fact, in assessing the current job market, pessimists now outnumber optimists.”