Consumer confidence in October remained flat amid concerns about slower growth in the labor market and across the broader economy.
Sentiment reached 54, up slightly from 53.9 in September, but behind last year’s index of 54.3, according to the Thomson Reuters Ipsos Primary Consumer Sentiment Index released Wednesday.
The figure could lead to some uncertainty heading into the holidays. Retail sales made scant progress in September, up 0.1% as consumers increased spending at restaurants and on clothing and cars, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.
Still, the National Retail Federation is forecasting a strong holiday season with an expected 3.7% increase in sales over last year.
The current conditions index showed a small increase to 45 from 44.6, gains largely attributed to more positive feelings about personal finances. Expectations were unchanged from last month amid more worries about job security.
The jobs index fell to 64.9 from 65.2, but that drop was primarily driven by concerns about future job loss "rather than any actual experiences with job insecurity," the report said.
After two months of slowing jobs growth, concerns have been raised that the economy is losing some of its earlier momentum, according to a separate report from the Federal Reserve. Growth hit 3.9% in the second quarter ended June 30 but may not even clear 2% in the third quarter ended Sept. 30.
Last month the Fed decided to delay an increase in a key interest rates amid global financial turmoil.