Consumer Confidence in U.S. Falls

29 Jan

Consumer-ConfidenceU.S. consumer confidence dropped in January to its lowest level in more than a year as Americans were more pessimistic about the economic outlook and their financial prospects, according to a private sector report released on Tuesday.

The Conference Board, an industry group, said its index of consumer attitudes fell to 58.6 from an upwardly revised 66.7 in December, falling short of economists’ expectations for 64. It was the lowest level since November 2011.

The January reading was well below the median estimate of 64 in a Bloomberg survey of 73 economists. In fact, every prediction in the survey was higher than the 58.6 reading.

Other sentiment gauges provided by The Conference Board also showed weakness. The number of people claiming business conditions are “good” dropped to 16.7 percent, compared to 17.2 percent in the prior month. At the same time, those saying business conditions are “bad” increased to 27.4 percent from 26.3 percent.

Labor market conditions are also weighing on consumers. People saying jobs are “plentiful” declined to 8.6 percent, compared to 10.8 percent. Those claiming jobs are “hard to get” increased to 37.7 percent from 36.1 percent. Those anticipating more jobs in the coming months fell from 17.9 percent to 14.3 percent.


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