Consumer Confidence Slightly Up

Date: December 14, 2015

Indices Suggest Consumers Feeling Marginally Better As Busy Shopping Season Begins

Bloomberg News reported that its Bloomberg Consumer Confidence Index increased to 40.1 in the week of December 6 from the previous week’s 39.6. Despite the marginal gain, the reading was below the 2015 average of 43. The article reported that “sentiment among households earning more than $100,000 a year fell to the lowest since early August, possibly reflecting swings in the stock market tied,” though the “gauge of Americans’ current views of the economy rose to 31.7 from 30.6 the prior week.” The measure of the buying climate increased by 0.8 to 35.3, week on week, while the index of personal finances fell by 0.3 to 53.4, “the lowest since mid-August.” Bloomberg News also highlighted the impact of the stronger labor market, as “the measure of confidence among Americans with full-time jobs increased to 46.4 from 43.8, halting a nine-week downturn.”

In a related measure, CNBC reported that the University of Michigan said its index of consumer sentiment rose from 90 in October to 91.3 in November. However, economists had expected the index to come in at 93. In a statement accompanying the release, economist Richard Curtin said, “Although some of the gains recorded earlier in the month evaporated in late November, consumer confidence remained quite favorable, just below the average for the past six months 91.6.” However, Curtin added, the data “indicate that consumers have become increasingly aware of economic cross currents in the domestic as well as the global economy. Nearly all of the recent advance was focused on current conditions rather than future economic prospects, and the entire November gain was due to lower income households.”

What This Means For Small Businesses

US consumers appear to be feeling better about spending ahead of the busy holiday shopping season. This may indicate US small businesses will see an uptick in business during Q4, a key time for revenue for many businesses.

Additional Reading

The AP, the Wall Street Journal, and Bloomberg News also reported on consumer confidence.

Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.

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