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The Conference Board US Consumer Confidence Index,
which had improved in November, decreased slightly in December. The
Index now stands at 52.5 (1985=100), down from 54.3 in November. The
Present Situation Index declined to 23.5 from 25.4. The Expectations
Index decreased to 71.9 from 73.6 last month. The
Consumer Confidence Survey
is based on a representative sample of 5,000 US households. The
monthly survey is conducted for the
Conference Board by global market research firm
TNS. The cutoff date for December’s preliminary results was
Lynn Franco, Director of the Consumer Research Center at
the Conference Board, a
private New York-based research firm, said: "Despite this
month's modest decline, consumer confidence is no worse off today
than it was a year ago.
Consumers' assessment of the current state
of the economy and labor market remains tepid, and their outlook
remains cautious. Thus, all signs continue to suggest that the
economic expansion will continue well into 2011, but that the pace
of growth will remain moderate."
Consumers' appraisal of present-day conditions was slightly more
pessimistic than in November. The percentage of consumers claiming business
conditions are "bad" decreased to 41.2% from 42.9%, however,
those claiming business conditions are "good" declined to 7.5% from
Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was less favorable
than last month. Those saying jobs are "plentiful" decreased
to 3.9% from 4.3%, while those stating jobs are "hard to get"
edged up to 46.8% from 46.3%.
Consumers’ expectations were slightly less optimistic than in
November. Those expecting an improvement in business conditions over
the next six months edged up to 16.6% from 16.4%, while those
anticipating business conditions will worsen edged down to 12.1%
Consumers remained mixed about future job prospects.
Those anticipating fewer jobs in the months ahead increased to 19.5%
from 19.1%, while those expecting more jobs declined to 14.3% from
The proportion of consumers expecting an increase in their
incomes decreased to 9.9% from 11.1%.
US consumer confidence unexpectedly deteriorated in December, hurt by increasing worries about the jobs market, according to a private report released on Tuesday: