The Conference Board said that consumer sentiment was at its highest level in nearly 17 years in November. The Consumer Confidence Index rose from 126.2 in October to 129.5, notching its best reading since December 2000 for the second month in a row.
Americans were more upbeat in their assessments of both current (up from 152.0 to 153.9) and future (up from 109.0 to 113.3) economic conditions. Along those lines, the percentage of respondents saying that business conditions were “good” increased from 34.4 percent to 34.9 percent, with those suggesting that conditions were “bad” inching down from 13.5 percent to 12.7 percent.
Overall, pocketbook issues remained important, with the public more upbeat about labor market conditions. The percentage of respondents feeling that jobs were “plentiful” increased from 36.7 percent to 37.1 percent, with those saying that jobs were “hard to get” inching down from 17.1 percent to 16.9 percent.
At the same time, 7.6 percent felt that their incomes would fall in the coming months, up slightly from 7.5 percent in the prior survey but down from 9.5 percent in July. Just over 20 percent anticipate higher incomes in the coming months.