The U.S. consumer confidence fell to a four-month low of 88.6, down from a revised reading of 92.9 in November, according to The Conference Board press release. The consumer index was below expected 97 amid surging COVID-19 cases.
- The overall gauge of expectations rose in December, but the measure of sentiment about current conditions worsened.
- The consumers claiming business conditions are “good” fell from 18.8% to 16.0%, while those claiming business conditions are “bad” rose from 34.9% to 39.5%
- The consumers saying jobs are “plentiful” declined from 26.3% to 21.8%, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” rose from 19.4% to 22.0%.
- The consumer index now remains below pre-pandemic levels despite making some gains in recent months.
- The reading by the Conference Board contrasts the University of Michigan’s gauge of consumer sentiment that showed an increase in early December.