The Consumer Confidence Index falls for the fourth straight month:
Consumer confidence declined in November for a fourth consecutive month, a private research group reported Tuesday, reflecting doubts about the economy once the holidays are past.
The Conference Board said its Consumer Confidence Index fell to 90.5, down from a revised reading of 92.9 in October, defying market expectations. Analysts had forecast the index would rise to 96.0.
The November figure marks the lowest point in the index since March, when it registered 88.5. The closely watched gauge of consumer sentiment has been in decline since peaking in July.
“With consumers’ assessment of current conditions holding steadfast and intentions to spend for the holiday season up from a year ago, the outlook for retailers is mildly encouraging,” said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board’s Consumer Research Center. “But looking beyond the upcoming holidays, the continuing erosion in expectations suggests consumers do not feel the economy is likely to gain major momentum in early 2005.”
Meanwhile, their appraisal of the future continued to cloud. Those who expect business conditions to worsen in the next six months increased to 11.9 percent from 10.5 percent. The number expecting an improvement declined to 19.3 percent from 20.7 percent.
The number of consumers expecting fewer jobs in the months ahead rose to 19.7 percent from 18.3 percent, while those who expect more jobs was essentially unchanged at 16.8 percent.