Consumer confidence slides off 17-year high

Getty/Stephanie Keith
  • Consumer confidence fell off 17-year highs in December, Conference Board data showed.
  • Consumers were more positive about present conditions but mixed about the state of the labour market.

US consumer confidence slid off 17-year highs in December, according to The Conference Board’s monthly survey.

The headline index fell to 122.1, making for a much steeper drop than economists had forecast. They were expecting a fall to 128.0 from November’s 128.6, according to Bloomberg.

Consumers were more positive about present conditions but were mixed on the state of the labour market.

The percentage of those who said business conditions were “good” increased to 35.2% from 35%, while those saying business conditions were “bad” slipped to 12.1% from 12.3%.

People claiming jobs were “plentiful” fell to 35.7% from 37.5%, while those claiming jobs were “hard to get” hit a 16-year low of 15.2%, down from 16.8%.

“Consumer confidence retreated in December after reaching a 17-year high in November,” said Lynn Franco, the director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “The decline in confidence was fuelled by a somewhat less optimistic outlook for business and job prospects in the coming months. Consumers’ assessment of current conditions, however, improved moderately. Despite the decline in confidence, consumers’ expectations remain at historically strong levels, suggesting economic growth will continue well into 2018.”

12 27 17 consumer confidence COTDBusiness Insider/Andy Kiersz, data from Bloomberg

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