Consumer Confidence Rises in September

The Consumer Confidence Index rose in September. Compared with August, consumers were more optimistic about both the current situation and the near term outlook.

The Consumer Confidence Index rose to 104.1, from 101.8 in August. The Present Situation Index rose to 128.5, from 125.3. The Expectations Index increased to 87.8, from 86.1.

Consumers’ assessments of current business conditions were mixed, as they shifted from both “good” and “bad” to “normal.” The share of respondents rating business conditions “normal” rose by 4.9 percentage points from 51.5% to 56.4%. A net decline of 2.9 percentage points in assessments of “good” combined with a 2.0 percentage point net decline in assessments of “bad” for the total.

Similar to consumers’ assessments of current business conditions, expectations of business conditions over the next six months were mixed. The share of respondents expecting future business conditions to be the same rose from 71% to 73.3%. About half of the increase was the result of a net decline in respondents expecting future business conditions to be worse, an upgrade, while the rest was the result of a net decline in respondents expecting future business conditions to be better, a downgrade.

Consumers’ assessments of current employment conditions improved. The share of respondents reporting jobs were “hard to get” dropped to 21.6%, from 22.8%. Most of the 1.2 percentage point decline upgraded to “jobs plentiful.”

Also, consumers’ expectations of employment over the next six months were more upbeat than in August. The share of respondents expecting “more jobs” rose to 15.1%, from 14.4%. Most of the 0.7 percentage point increase shifted from “fewer jobs,” while the rest shifted from “same jobs.”

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