Also more upbeat—consumers' outlook for the labor market

Mall shoppers consumer confidence
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September 28, 2016

Following a big increase last month, U.S. consumer confidence continued its upward momentum in September, reaching a level not seen in nearly a decade.

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index now stands at 104.1—which is the highest it has been since before the economic recession began in 2007.

The Conference Board reports that consumers' assessment of current conditions improved in September. Those stating that business conditions are "good" decreased from 30.3 percent to 27.4 percent. However, those saying that business conditions are "bad" declined from 18.2 percent to 16.2 percent.

Consumers' appraisal of the labor market in September was more positive than last month. Those stating jobs were "plentiful" increased from 26.8 percent to 27.9 percent, while those claiming jobs are "hard to get" declined from 22.8 percent to 21.6 percent.

Consumers' optimism regarding the short-term outlook was also more favorable in September. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months decreased from 17.6 percent to 16.5 percent. However, those expecting business conditions to worsen also declined from 11.4 percent to 10.2 percent.

Also more upbeat—consumers' outlook for the labor market. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead increased from 14.4 percent to 15.1 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs declined from 17.5 percent to 17.0 percent. The percentage of consumers expecting their incomes to increase declined from 18.5 percent to 17.1 percent. However, the proportion expecting a decline decreased from 11.0 percent to 10.3 percent.

"Consumer confidence increased in September for a second consecutive month and is now at its highest level since the recession," said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. "Consumers' assessment of present-day conditions improved, primarily the result of a more positive view of the labor market. Looking ahead, consumers are more upbeat about the short-term employment outlook, but somewhat neutral about business conditions and income prospects. Overall, consumers continue to rate current conditions favorably and foresee moderate economic expansion in the months ahead."

The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch.

References: The Conference Board