Consumers’ feelings about the present economic conditions also regressed slightly, but their short-term expectations for the future rose. Consumers’ assessment of the job market also declined slightly, despite low unemployment and rising wages.
“Overall, confidence levels are still high and should support solid spending during this holiday season,” Conference Board economist Lynn Franco said. Earlier this month, the Commerce Department reported that Americans stepped up their shopping in October, spending more online and buying more cars, another good sign as the holiday shopping season kicks off this week with “Black Friday” events.
Consumer confidence has been shaken somewhat by a global slowdown that’s coincided with a drawn-out U.S.-China trade war that has hurt American manufacturers and increased economic uncertainty. The trade battle and weak global growth has led many businesses to cut back on their investment spending and economists have dialed back growth estimates for to under 2% for the third quarter.
On Wednesday, the Commerce Department issues the second estimate of how the U.S. economy performed in the July-September quarter. Consumer confidence is closely watched by economists because their spending accounts for 70% of economic activity in the U.S.