Consumer Confidence Index Improves in Oct.

       

       

NEW YORK–The Consumer Confidence Index finished this month at 50.2, up from 48.6 in September.

The key indicator, which is compiled each month by The Conference Board, rose based on slight increases in its two component indexes, Present Situation and Expectations. The former edged up 0.6 point to 23.9, while the latter gained 2.3 points to 67.8.

Results from The Conference Board’s survey, which samples 5,000 U.S. households, showed that the percentages of consumers who saw current business conditions as good and future business conditions as improving both rose slightly in October. The consumers’ appraisal of the labor market was not as favorable, with an increase in the percentage who said jobs are now hard to get and with their assessment of the future job market as mixed.

Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board’s Consumer Research Center, said, notwithstanding the index’s overall increase, consumer confidence “is still hovering at historically low levels.” Franco said labor market conditions have yet to significantly improve, and consumers are showing that they continue to be concerned about the future outlook.