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U.S. Consumer Confidence Unexpectedly Drops From Upwardly Revised Level

(RTTNews) - Consumer confidence in the U.S. unexpectedly edged lower in the month of October, according to a report released by the Conference Board on Tuesday, although the drop came from an upwardly revised level in the previous month.

The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index dipped to 125.9 in October from an upwardly revised 126.3 in September.

Economists had expected the consumer confidence index to climb to 128.5 in October from the 125.1 originally reported for the previous month.

"Consumer confidence was relatively flat in October, following a decrease in September," said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at the Conference Board. "However, confidence levels remain high and there are no indications that consumers will curtail their holiday spending."

The unexpected decrease in consumer confidence came as consumers were less optimistic about the short-term outlook, with the expectations index sliding to 94.9 in October from 96.8 in September,

The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions will improve over the next six months slipped to 18.6 percent from 20.0 percent, although those expecting business conditions will worsen also fell to 11.6 percent from 13.3 percent.

The outlook for the labor market was also less upbeat, as consumers expecting more jobs in the months ahead dipped to 16.9 percent from 17.6 percent and those anticipating fewer jobs rose to 17.8 percent from 15.4 percent.

Meanwhile, the Conference Board said the present situation index climbed to 172.3 in October from 170.6 in September, as consumers' assessment of current conditions improved somewhat

Consumers claiming business conditions are "good" increased to 39.2 percent from 37.4 percent, while those saying business conditions are "bad" edged down to 11.2 percent from 12.2 percent.

The assessment of the job market was mixed, with those saying jobs are "plentiful" rising to 46.9 percent from 44.5 percent but those claiming jobs are "hard to get" also inching up to 11.8 percent from 11.0 percent.

Last Friday, the University of Michigan released revised data showing U.S. consumer sentiment improved by slightly less than initially estimated in the month of October.

The report said the consumer sentiment index for October was downwardly revised to 95.5 from the preliminary reading of 96.0. Economists had expected the index to be unrevised.

Despite the downward revision, the consumer sentiment index for October was still up from the final September reading of 93.2.

"Sentiment was insignificantly below the mid month level, with the small loss spread over most components of the Index," said Surveys of Consumers chief economist Richard Curtin.

He added, "The overall level of consumer confidence has remained quite favorable and largely unchanged during the past few years."

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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