Consumer Confidence Rebounds in December

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index rebounded in December after falling in November. The index now stands at a reading of 78.1 (1985=100), up from 72.0 in November.

“Consumer confidence rebounded in December and is now close to pre-government shutdown levels (September 2013, 80.2),” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board.

“Sentiment regarding current conditions increased to a five-and-a-half-year high (April 2008, 81.9), with consumers attributing the improvement to more favorable economic and labor market conditions,” Franco said. “Looking ahead, consumers expressed a greater degree of confidence in future economic and job prospects, but were moderately more pessimistic about their earning prospects. Despite the many challenges throughout 2013, consumers are in better spirits today than when the year began.”

The number of consumers anticipating more jobs in the months ahead increased sharply to 17.1 percent in December from 13.1 percent in November, according to the index’s survey. Those expecting fewer jobs decreased to 19.0 percent from 21.4 percent. And those saying jobs are “plentiful” edged up to 12.2 percent from 12.0 percent; while those saying jobs are “hard-to-get” fell to 32.5 percent from 34.1 percent.