U.S. consumer confidence falls in November

Consumer confidence decreased in November as consumers were concerned about future job and earning prospects, according to The Conference Board.

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index fell to 70.4 in November from 72.4 in October. 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.

Those expecting business conditions to improve during the next six months rose slightly to 16.6 percent from 16 percent, and those expecting business conditions to worsen decreased to 16.8 percent from 17.5 percent.

Additionally, 12.7 percent expect more jobs during the next six months compared with 16 percent in October. Those expecting fewer jobs decreased from 22.6 percent to 21.7 percent.

"Consumer confidence declined moderately in November after sharply declining in October," says Lynn Franco, The Conference Board's director of economic indicators. "Sentiment regarding current conditions was mixed, with consumers saying the job market had strengthened while economic conditions had slowed.

"However, these sentiments did not carry over into the short-term outlook," she continues. "When looking ahead six months, consumers expressed greater concern about future job and earning prospects but remain neutral about economic conditions. All in all, with such uncertainty prevailing, this could be a challenging holiday season for retailers."

Date : 12/2/2013