Household Confidence Slips, But Outlook Steady

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Household confidence remained on a slippery slope in November, but does not suggest a change in the modest outlook for household spending—according to a first look at the latest U.S. confidence measures.

  • The significance of a falloff in consumer confidence reported for November is largely offset by a pickup in a separately reported measure of consumer sentiment for the same month.
  • An overall measure of confidence calculated by MacroSavvy™ suggests that the spending mood has slipped only slightly in November from early-year highs—which were boosted by lower fuel prices.

Impact @Work: Expect spending trends to hold up best among lower-income households—especially younger lower-income households benefiting from job gains. The place to watch for softer spending will be among upper-income households—especially older, upper-income households.

The signs of opportunity and risk are found in the diverging path of the measures of current conditions (which tend to be more important for lower-income households) and the measures of future expectations (which tend to be more important for upper-income households).

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