Consumer Confidence: Sharp Decline Flashes Yellow

September 24, 2019
Bottom Line: Consumer confidence fell sharply more than expected in September, according to the Conference Board's survey. Consumers' assessments of current conditions and their expectations for the near-term future fell sharply. That said, both indices are still not far below cycle highs. The present situation index is above levels seen in June, and the expectations index is still above the lows seen in January. Overall, consumer confidence has clearly plateaued and is getting more volatile amid trade uncertainty. For now, though, these signals are still a "flashing yellow light" on the dashboard of US growth, not yet a "red light". Consumer Confidence FELL by 9.1 points in September to 125.1, compared with market expectations for a decline to 133.0. The index is now 7.5% BELOW its year ago level. Present Situation Index FELL by 7.0 points to 169.0. The index is 0.2% BELOW its year ago level. The Expectations Index FELL by 10.6 points to 95.8. The index is 14.8% 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 lower by 5.1 points to 33.2.