US consumer confidence dips in December

Finance news

People shopping at a Costco store

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U.S. consumer confidence dipped slightly in December, according to data released by The Conference Board on Tuesday. The metric came in at 126.5 for the month, down from 126.8 in November. Economists polled by Reuters expected a reading of 128.2 for December.

The Conference Board also announced an upward revision to November’s reading.

“Consumer confidence declined marginally in December, following a slight improvement in November,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, in the release. “While consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved, their expectations declined, driven primarily by a softening in their short-term outlook regarding jobs and financial prospects. While the economy hasn’t shown signs of further weakening, there is little to suggest that growth, and in particular consumer spending, will gain momentum in early 2020.”

The percentage of consumers judging that business conditions are “good” remained virtually unchanged at 38.7%, while those claiming that conditions were “bad” decreased to 11.1% from 13.6%. Perceptions of the labor market were mixed, however, as the percentage of people saying jobs were “plentiful” and the percentage saying jobs were “hard to get” both slightly increased to 47% and 13.1%, respectively.

Consumers’ outlook on the job market also slightly soured, as the proportion of consumers expecting fewer jobs and lower income also edged higher.

On business conditions as a whole, consumers maintained an overall positive outlook, according to the survey conducted by Nielsen.

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that consumer confidence dipped in December but rose slightly in November, based on revised data from The Conference Board.