A key consumer confidence measure showed consumers had a more positive view of the economy in December than a month earlier and their optimism about the labor market also has improved.
The Consumer Confidence Index tracked by The Conference Board is at 96.5 (1985=100), up from 92.6 in November.
Consumers’ view of current conditions was mixed in December, The Conference Board reports in its news release. Those saying business conditions are ‘good’ increased from 25% to 27.3%. However, those saying business conditions are ‘bad’ also increased from 16.9% to 19.8%. Consumers, however, were more positive about the labor market. The proportion claiming jobs are ‘plentiful’ increased from 21% to 24.1%, while those claiming jobs are ‘hard to get’ decreased to 24.7% from 25.8%.
"Consumer confidence improved in December, following a moderate decrease in November," said Lynn Franco, director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board in the news release. "As 2015 draws to a close, consumers’ assessment of the current state of the economy remains positive, particularly their assessment of the job market. Looking ahead to 2016, consumers are expecting little change in both business conditions and the labor market. Expectations regarding their financial outlook are mixed, but the optimists continue to outweigh the pessimists."Consumers’ optimism about the short-term outlook was somewhat mixed in December, according to the news release.
"Those expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months decreased slightly to 15.2% from 15.7%. However, those expecting business conditions to worsen increased slightly to 11% from 10.6%."
Consumers had a better outlook regarding the labor market. Those expecting more jobs in the months ahead rose to 12.9% from 12%, while those anticipating fewer jobs fell from 18.5% to 16.6%, according to the news release.