According to The Conference Board's monthly Survey, consumer confidence is up among the representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households. "The moderate improvement in the short-term outlook was the result of a decrease in the percent of consumers expecting business and labor market conditions to worsen, as opposed to an increase in the percent of consumers expecting conditions to improve. Income expectations remain very pessimistic and consumers are entering the holiday season in a very frugal mood,” said Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. Those claiming business conditions are “bad” decreased to 45.7 percent from 46.7 percent, while those claiming conditions are “good” increased to 8.1 percent from 7.8 percent. Consumers’ assessment of the labor market deteriorated moderately. Those claiming jobs are “hard to get” increased to 49.8 percent from 49.4 percent, while those claiming jobs are “plentiful” decreased to 3.2 percent from 3.5 percent. Consumers’ short-term outlook improved slightly in November. The percentage of consumers expecting an improvement in business conditions over the next six months decreased slightly to 20.0 percent from 20.8 percent, but those expecting conditions to worsen decreased to 15.1 percent from 18.2 percent. The labor market outlook was also slightly less pessimistic. Those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead declined to 15.2 percent from 16.8 percent, but those expecting fewer jobs decreased to 23.1 percent from 26.1 percent. The proportion of consumers expecting an increase in their incomes decreased to 10.0 percent from 10.7 percent.
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