Confidence surprises to upside but…

Consumer Confidence in Nov at 56 as measured by the Conference Board was well above expectations of 44 and up from 40.9 in Oct. It’s the best since July and is almost back to the 11 month avg ytd of 57.6. The Present Situation rose 11.2 pts to the best since May and Expectations rose by 17.8 pts to the most since July. The answers to the labor market questions were most encouraging as those that said jobs were Plentiful rose to 5.8 from 3.6, the best since May ’09 and those that said jobs were Hard To Get fell 4.8 pts to the lowest since Jan ’09. Those that said Business Conditions were Good rose and those that said they were Bad fell and the same responses were given for the next 6 months out. Those that plan to buy a home within 6 mo’s rose slightly but those that plan to buy an automobile fell a touch. One year inflation expectations fell to 5.5% from 5.8%, the lowest since Jan. Bottom line, as seen in the recent readings of initial jobless claims below 400k, the labor market continues to stabilize and that is a key factor in the improvement in this confidence figure BUT the caveat is the survey period ended Nov 15th, right before the markets headed south in response to more European stress.

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