Consumer Confidence: Slipped in November

November 24, 2020
Bottom Line: Consumer confidence fell in November as expectations for the future fell sharply, even as assessments of current conditions were little changed. As we know from the University of Michigan sentiment survey, which provides more details, politics has heavily influenced consumers' attitudes for over four years now. Those who identify as Republican were more confident from 2016 until the election earlier this month. While the confidence of Democrats increased in the last few weeks, it has not increased as much as confidence among Republicans, especially their outlook for the future, has fallen. The details of the report reveal fewer causes for concern as jobs and business activity assessments have mostly improved since the shutdowns for the novel coronavirus. While still well below pre-pandemic levels on all metrics, overall, the survey showed most consumers have adjusted to a new normal until a vaccine is readily available. Consumer Confidence FELL by 5.3 points in November to 96.1, compared with market expectations for a decline to 98.0. The index is now 24.2% BELOW its year-ago level. Present Situation Index FELL by 0.3 points to 105.9. The index is 36.4% BELOW its year-ago level. The Expectations Index FELL by 8.7 points to 89.5. The index is 10.8% BELOW its year-ago level. The labor differential, the percentage of respondents who said jobs are “hard to get” from the percentage who said jobs are “plentiful”, moved higher by 0.1 points to 7.2.