Consumer confidence soars to a post-recession high

Consumer confidence soared in November to a post-recession high, according to the Conference Board’s monthly report published on Tuesday.

The confidence index rose to 107.1, the highest level since July 2007. Economists had forecast that the index rose to 101.5 from 98.6.

This was the first full report from the Conference Board since the US election. However, only a few responses were received after the election.

“It appears from the small sample of post-election responses that consumers’ optimism was not impacted by the outcome,” said Lynn Franco, the director of economic indicators at the Conference Board, in the release.

“A more favourable assessment of current conditions coupled with a more optimistic short-term outlook helped boost confidence,” she said.

Another measure of consumer sentiment, the University of Michigan’s confidence survey, showed a post-election jump in confidence. The consumers that were surveyed were relieved that the whole thing was finally over, and were not necessarily optimistic because of the election’s result. They also became more hopeful about economic growth and about the prospects for their personal finances.

Consumer-sentiment readings can provide insight into the underlying health of the labour market, according to Joseph LaVorgna, Deutsche Bank’s chief US economist. There’s a close correlation between consumers’ views on how easy it is to get jobs, which the Conference Board provides, and the unemployment rate, he said in a note on Monday.

The share of consumers who thought jobs were plentiful less those who thought they were hard to get — the labour market differential — was unchanged and stayed near its highest level in nine years.

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