Consumer Confidence misses expectations big time as a record low 7.5% describe conditions as good

Hit by a surprisingly negative assessment of the jobs market, the Conference Board's consumer confidence index posts an unexpected decline, down nearly two points to 52.5 (November revised to 54.3). Of the report's roughly 3,000 initial sample, 46.8 percent say jobs are currently hard to get in what is the worst reading since February. Other job readings also show deterioration: fewer say jobs are currently plentiful (only a miniscule 3.9 percent) while, in readings for the six-month outlook, fewer see more jobs and more see fewer jobs.

The negative assessments on jobs spill into assessments on both business conditions, where only 7.5% describe conditions as good, and on income prospects where only 9.9% are optimistic. These last two readings are among the lowest ever in 43 years of data.

Buying plans for cars fell back while buying plans for homes, only 1.8%, remain near a record low. Add in rising inflation expectations, up two tenths to plus 5.3%, and this report stands out as especially negative in what has been a run of strong data centered in the consumer. Unfortunately another stand-out negative has been the monthly employment report and today's report points to another disappointment for payroll growth and the unemployment rate. Stocks are moving lower following today's report, one which may also begin to limit expectations for holiday spending.

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