The Conference Board, the economic think tank that provides insight into the future, reports that the The Consumer Confidence Index fell again in September to 103.0 from an upwardly revised 108.7 in August.
“Consumer confidence fell again in September 2023, marking two consecutive months of decline” said Dana Peterson, chief economist at The Conference Board. “The disappointing September headline number reflects another decline in the Expectations Index, as the Current Situation Index was virtually unchanged. Written responses shows that Consumers remain concerned about rising prices in general, and food and fuel prices in particular.“.
Consumers have also expressed concerns about political situation and high interest. The decline in consumer confidence is seen across all age groups, and especially among consumers with household incomes of $50,000 or more.
Peterson added: “The proportion of Consumers saying a recession is ‘somewhat’ or ‘very likely’ increased in September after falling in August. The fluctuating surveys probably reflect the current uncertainty due to mixed purchasing plans. On a six-month moving average basis, plans to buy cars were flat but remained at high levels, while plans to buy household appliances continued an upward trend. But plans to buy homes, more in line with rising interest rates, continue a downward trend.
20.9% of consumers said business conditions were “good”, compared to 21.5% in August. For 16.4%, commercial conditions are “bad”, compared to 17.3%.
40.9% of consumers said jobs are “abundant”, compared to 39.9% in August. But 13.6% said it was “difficult to get” a job, up from 13.2% last month.
Consumers are less optimistic about the outlook for the near-term business situation in September.
14.1% of consumers expect the commercial conditions to improve, compared to 17.5% in August. Meanwhile, 18.4% expect business conditions to worsen, up from 17.3%.
15.5% of consumers expect more jobs to be available, compared to 17.5% in August. 18.9% saw less work, compared to 18.0%.
16.3% of consumers expect their income to increase, compared to 18.7% in August. Additionally, 14.4% expect their income to decrease, up from 11.9% last month.