US consumer confidence rises in November after three-month decline

Respondents' recession fears reflect Conference Board's 'short and shallow' prediction for 2024

Data released by The Conference Board showed that the Consumer Confidence Index had increased to 102.0, up from a downwardly revised 99.1 in October. EPA
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US consumer confidence rose in November after three straight months of decline, although fears remain of a recession within the next year.

Data released by The Conference Board on Tuesday showed that the Consumer Confidence Index had increased to 102.0, up from a downwardly revised 99.1 in October.

A separate measure based on current business and labour market conditions fell slightly from 138.6 to 138.2.

Tuesday's report comes as economic figures show inflation is moderating, bringing relief to consumers who have been burdened by high prices.

“General improvements were seen across the spectrum of income groups surveyed in November,” said Dana Peterson, chief economist at The Conference Board, which gauges consumers' confidence in current economic conditions as well as their expectations for the next six months.

Still, consumers expressed concerns over rising prices, geopolitics and higher interest rates.

The Conference Board found that plans to buy homes, vehicles and appliances trended downwards, “perhaps reflecting the impact of elevated interest rates”.

A separate index found that consumers still fear a looming recession. Two-thirds of respondents believe a recession to be at either “somewhat” or “very likely” within the next 12 months.

The Conference Board noted the index reflects the “short and shallow” recession it predicts in the first half of next year.

The US economy grew 4.9 per cent last quarter. It is projected to grow by 2.1 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2023, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's GDPNow forecast metric.

Updated: November 28, 2023, 4:22 PM