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Big Gain in Consumer Confidence
Reaches Highest Level in Almost 17 Years


Of the various measures in the Consumer Confidence Index, the present situation score was up 4.2 points and the expectation score added 6.1 points.

Continuing the advancements seen in the Consumer Confidence Index since the presidential election last November, October's tally rose 5.3 points to 125.9. That is its highest level since December 2000, and adds up to a 24.9 percent improvement in the past year.

During that period, consumers' evaluation of the present situation grew by 22.7 percent, while positive expectations for economic conditions over the next six months improved 26.9 percent. According to the Wells Fargo Economics Group, "the improvement in consumer confidence suggests that the improvement in the economy is broadening and reaching more regions and households."

The labor market has had the biggest impact on this optimistic outlook as evidenced by the 43.5 percent growth over the past year of people who feel that there are ample jobs available, and the 19.4 percent decline in those that believe jobs are scarce. Also, there has been a 35.4 percent gain in the number of consumers who anticipate continued job creation over the next six months, and a drop of 28.9 percent in those who expect the opposite to be true.

"Consumers' improved perceptions about the labor market suggest that the run-up in the stock market is playing only a supporting role in boosting consumer confidence," states Mark Vitner, senior economist for the Wells Fargo Securities Economics Group. "After all, far more consumers have a job than own shares of stock."

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July 17, 2019, 8:28 pm PDT

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