The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®, which had declined in December, fell further in January. The Index now stands at 58.6, down from 66.7 in December. The Expectations Index declined to 59.5 from 68.1. The Present Situation Index decreased to 57.3 from 64.6 last month.
Consumers’ appraisal of current conditions deteriorated in January. Those claiming business conditions are “good” declined to 16.7% from 17.2%, while those stating business conditions are “bad” increased to 27.4% from 26.3%. Consumers’ assessment of the labor market has also grown more negative. Those saying jobs are “plentiful” declined to 8.6% from 10.8%, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” increased to 37.7% from 36.1%.
Consumers’ optimism about the short-term outlook continued to deteriorate in January. Those expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months declined to 15.4% from 18.1%. However, those expecting business conditions to worsen declined slightly to 20.6% from 21.1%.
Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was more pessimistic. Those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead declined to 14.3% from 17.9%, while those expecting fewer jobs remained virtually unchanged at 27.0%. The proportion of consumers expecting their incomes to decline rose to 22.9% from 19.1%, while those anticipating an increase declined to 13.6% from 15.6%.