U.S. consumer confidence decreases slightly in September

Consumer confidence declined slightly in September as consumers' assessment of current conditions moderated, according to The Conference Board.

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index® decreased to 119.8, down from 120.4 in August. A reading of 90 or higher indicates a healthy economy.

The index measures how shoppers feel about business conditions, the job market and the next six months. Economists watch the index closely because consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of economic activity and is a crucial part of a strong rebound.

The percentage of consumers saying business conditions are "good" decreased slightly from 34.5 percent to 33.9 percent, while those saying business conditions are "bad" increased from 13.2 percent to 13.8 percent. Consumers' assessment of the labor market also was less positive. Those stating jobs are "plentiful" declined from 34.4 percent to 32.6 percent; however, those claiming jobs are "hard to get" also decreased marginally from 18.4 percent to 18.1 percent.

Consumer optimism about the short-term outlook increased slightly in September. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve during the next six months increased from 19.8 percent to 20.2 percent, but those expecting business conditions to worsen also grew from 8 percent to 9.9 percent.

Consumer outlook for the labor market was more favorable than in August. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead increased from 16.8 percent to 19.5 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs rose slightly from 13.2 percent to 13.5 percent.

"Consumer confidence decreased slightly in September after a marginal improvement in August," says Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. "Confidence in Texas and Florida, however, decreased considerably, as these two states were the most severely impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Despite the slight downtick in confidence, consumers' assessment of current conditions remains quite favorable and their expectations for the short-term suggest the economy will continue expanding at its current pace."

Date : 9/26/2017