A monthly measure of consumer confidence in the United States has retreated for a second straight month on less upbeat expectations for the labor market.
The Conference Board reported that its Consumer Confidence Index dropped nearly nine points to 90.4 for November. The index has retreated almost 13 points over the past two months.
“The decline was mainly due to a less favorable view of the job market,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators for the Conference Board. “Consumers’ appraisals of current condition conditions, on the other hand, was mixed. … Heading into 2016, consumers are cautious about the labor market and expect little change in business conditions.”
The Conference Board, a business research and membership association, bases the index on the results of monthly surveys of households. Economists monitor the index because consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of economic activity.
For November, less optimistic assessments of current business and labor conditions pulled down the present situation component of the index more than six points to 108.1.
The proportion of consumers responding to the survey upon which the November index was based who described business conditions as “good” fell more than two points to 24.4. But the share of those who described business conditions as “bad” decreased more than a point to 16.9 percent.
The proportion of consumers who said jobs are “plentiful” fell nearly three points to 19.9 percent, while the share of those who said jobs are “hard to get” rose nearly two points to 26.2 percent.
A less upbeat outlook for business and labor conditions pulled down the expectations component of the index more than 10 points to 78.6.
The share of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months fell more than three points to 14.8 percent. The proportion of those who anticipate worsening conditions edged up six-tenths of a point to 11 percent.
The share of consumers who expect more jobs to become available declined nearly three points to 11.6 percent. The proportion of those anticipating fewer jobs increased more than two points to 18.7 percent.