Economist's Insights

Consumer Confidence Remains Strong Despite September Pullback

Sep 26, 2017

September’s Conference Board report on consumer confidence showed a small pullback after a negative revision to the August index (revised down from 122.9 to 120.4).  However, the overall report remains quite strong with confidence at 119.8 and consumer expectations for income and spending remaining good.  The percentage of respondents expecting to buy a major appliance over the next six months rose 3.5% while those expecting to go on vacation rose 7.2%.  Those expecting to buy cars fell just 0.8% and those expecting to buy a home fell 0.4%.  Respondents expecting to receive an increase in income rose 0.6 points while those expecting a decrease fell 0.3 points – for a net differential of +0.9 points.  However, consumers who perceived jobs as being plentiful fell 1.8 points, although the index still portends a further decline in the unemployment rate.  Overall, despite September’s mild pullback, confidence remains very strong and consistent with a meaningful increase in personal consumption.