Consumer Confidence Improves in December, Outlook Remains Positive
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December 29, 2015

After declining for two consecutive months, U.S. consumer confidence rebounded in December.

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index now stands at 96.5, up from 92.6 in November. The index reached its 2015 peak of 103.8 back in January.

"Consumer confidence improved in December, following a moderate decrease in November," said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. "As 2015 draws to a close, consumers' assessment of the current state of the economy remains positive, particularly their assessment of the job market."

The Conference Board reports that consumers' appraisal of current conditions was mixed in December. Those saying business conditions are "good" increased from 25.0 percent to 27.3 percent. However, those saying business conditions are "bad" also increased from 16.9 percent to 19.8 percent.

Consumers, however, were more positive about the labor market. The proportion claiming jobs are "plentiful" increased from 21.0 percent to 24.1 percent, while those claiming jobs are "hard to get" decreased to 24.7 percent from 25.8 percent.

Consumers' optimism about the short-term outlook was somewhat mixed in December. Those expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months decreased slightly to 15.2 percent from 15.7 percent. However, those expecting business conditions to worsen increased slightly to 11.0 percent from 10.6 percent.

"Looking ahead to 2016, consumers are expecting little change in both business conditions and the labor market," Franco added. "Expectations regarding their financial outlook are mixed, but the optimists continue to outweigh the pessimists."

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