Consumer Confidence: Back to Nov 2016 Even Before Stock Swoon

December 27, 2018
Bottom Line: Consumer confidence fell sharply in December as the expectations index fell from the Conference Board fell to its lowest level since November '16. The headline confidence index, at 128.1, is below its three month average of 134.1. Details were negative as 6-month outlooks for business fell moderately, outlooks for income fell modestly and employment fell moderately. The cutoff date for this survey was December 13th, before another 8+% decline in the S&P 500 and the government shutdown. Consumer Confidence FELL by 8.3 points in December to 128.1, compared with market expectations for a decline to 133.5. The index is now 4.1% ABOVE its year ago level. Present Situation Index FELL by 1.1 points to 171.6. The index is 9.6% ABOVE its year ago level. The Expectations Index FELL by 13.2 points to 99.1. The index is 1.7% 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 0.4 points to 34.6.