Consumer confidence turned negative in November as outlook for recovery worsens


Consumer confidence turned negative in November, the Conference Board reported Tuesday, as the economy is not expected to gain strength in the coming months.

“Heading into 2021, consumers do not foresee the economy, nor the labor market, gaining strength,” said Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at the Conference Board. “In addition, the resurgence of COVID-19 is further increasing uncertainty and exacerbating concerns about the outlook.”

The index now stands at 96.1, down from a revised 101.4 in October. The consumer confidence numbers are indexed to 1985, and a number at 100 or above signals that confidence is strong. Tuesday’s report shows that confidence has dropped out of positive territory.

Consumers have grown less optimistic about the short-term outlook.

The percentage of consumers expecting that business conditions will improve over the next six months decreased from 36% to 27.4%, while those expecting that business conditions will worsen increased from 15.9% to 19.8%.

Consumers’ optimism regarding the job market also weakened. The proportion of people expecting more jobs in the months ahead declined from 32% to 25.9%, while those anticipating fewer jobs increased moderately, from 19.8% to 20.5%.

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