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Overall, sentiment is that the economy will continue to expand in the near-term, but at a moderate pace

October 25, 2016

Following back-to-back monthly increases and reaching a high not seen in nearly a decade last month, U.S. consumer confidence declined in October.

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index now stands at 98.6, down from the 103.5 seen in September.

According to The Conference Board, consumers' appraisal of current conditions softened in October. Those saying that business conditions are "good" decreased moderately from 27.7 percent to 26.2 percent, while those saying that business conditions are "bad" increased from 15.8 percent to 17.7 percent.

Consumers' assessment of the labor market was also less positive than last month. Those stating that jobs are "plentiful" decreased from 27.6 percent to 24.3 percent, while those claiming that jobs are "hard to get" declined marginally from 22.3 percent to 22.1 percent.

The Conference Board reports that consumers' optimism regarding the short-term outlook was somewhat less favorable in October. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months decreased from 17.0 percent to 16.0 percent, while those expecting business conditions to worsen increased from 10.8 percent to 12.2 percent.

Consumers' outlook for the labor market was also less optimistic. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead decreased from 15.7 percent to 13.1 percent. However, those anticipating fewer jobs declined from 18.1 percent to 17.0 percent. The percentage of consumers expecting their incomes to increase was unchanged at 17.5 percent, while the proportion expecting a decline decreased from 10.4 percent to 9.8 percent.

"Consumer confidence retreated in October, after back-to-back monthly gains," said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. "Consumers' assessment of current business and employment conditions softened, while optimism regarding the short-term outlook retreated somewhat. However, consumers' expectations regarding their income prospects in the coming months were relatively unchanged. Overall, sentiment is that the economy will continue to expand in the near-term, but at a moderate pace."

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.

Source: The Conference Board

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