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Financial News: U.S. Consumer Confidence Unexpectedly Climbs To 17-Year Hi

U.S. Consumer Confidence Unexpectedly Climbs To 17-Year High In November

11/28/2017 - 10:17:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - In a sign consumers are entering the holiday season in very high spirits, the Conference Board released a report on Tuesday showing an unexpected improvement in U.S. consumer confidence in the month of November.

The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index climbed to 129.5 in November from an upwardly revised 126.2 in October.

The increase surprised economists, who had expected the consumer confidence index to drop to 124.5 from the 125.9 originally reported for the previous month.

With the unexpected increase, the consumer confidence index rose to its highest level since reaching 132.6 in November of 2000.

"Consumers' assessment of current conditions improved moderately, while their expectations regarding the short-term outlook improved more so, driven primarily by optimism of further improvements in the labor market," said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at the Conference Board.

The report said the present situation index edged up to 153.9 in November from 152.0 in October, as consumers saying business conditions are "good" inched up to 34.9 percent from 34.4 percent and those saying conditions are "bad" dipped to 12.7 percent from 13.5 percent.

Consumers' assessment of the labor market also improved, with those saying jobs are "plentiful" rising to 37.1 percent from 36.7 percent, while those saying jobs are "hard to get" edged down to 16.9 percent from 17.1 percent.

Optimism about the short-term outlook was also more favorable, driving the expectations index up to 113.3 in November from 109.0 in October.

The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months ticked up to 22.4 percent from 22.1 percent and those expecting conditions to worsen fell to 6.5 percent from 7.0 percent.

The Conference Board also said consumers expecting more jobs in the months ahead increased to 22.6 percent from 18.7 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs declined to 11.0 percent from 11.6 percent.

"Consumers are entering the holiday season in very high spirits and foresee the economy expanding at a healthy pace into the early months of 2018," said Franco.

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