US consumer confidence dips in December, remains strong

FILE - In this Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017, file photo, customers carry bags as they shop for the holidays at Concord Mills mall in Concord, N.C. Americans were a bit less confident in December than they were in November, but their spirits remained high during the holiday shopping season, according to information released Wednesday, Dec. 27, by the Conference Board. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)

WASHINGTON — Americans were a bit less confident about this economy this month than they were in November, but their spirits remained high overall during the holiday shopping season.

The Conference Board said Wednesday that its consumer confidence index dipped to 122.1 in December from a revised 128.6 in November.

"Despite the decline in confidence, consumers' expectations remain at historically strong levels, suggesting economic growth will continue well into 2018," said Conference Board economist Lynn Franco.

The business research group's index measures consumers' assessment of current conditions and their outlook for the next six months. Their view of today's conditions rose to the highest level since June 2001. But their expectations were the lowest since November 2016.

Economists watch the Conference Board report closely because consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic output.

Forecasters had predicted the index would drop this month from November's heights, but it fell more than expected. "This is an unexpected sign of weakness from the biggest driver of U.S. economic growth," Jennifer Lee, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets, wrote in a research report. "I'm not convinced it will play out into weaker consumer spending but this is clearly worth watching."

The overall index hit bottom at 25.3 in February 2009 at the depths of the Great Recession before rebounding as the U.S. economy recovered.

In what might be a good sign for the real estate market, a solid 7.6 percent of survey respondents said they planned to buy a home in the next six months. More Americans have been shopping for homes as the economy improves.

Economic growth clocked in at a solid 3.2 percent annual pace from July through September after registering 3.1 percent in the second quarter. Unemployment has dropped to a 17-year low 4.1 percent.

Must Read

Israel shuts Egypt border after terror warning...

Apr 10, 2017

Israel has closed its Taba border crossing to Egypt following a warning by its anti-terrorism...

6-day war begets 50 years of strife for Israel

May 29, 2017

For Israel, 6-day war in which it vanquished several Arab armies, begets 50-year fight with...

Israel, the land of milk and honey _ and now...

Aug 11, 2017

Israel has been known as the land of milk and honey since Biblical times, but could it become the...

On Israeli posters, Paddington Bear gets kosher...

Mar 22, 2018

On some posters advertising the new film, "Paddington 2," the British bear Paddington Bear is being...

AP PHOTOS: Holocaust survivors get pampering...

Apr 9, 2018

AP PHOTOS: A group of female Holocaust survivors are enjoying a pampering "makeover" in advance of...

Sign up now!

About Us

Walk To The Place offers travel news of popular destinations for travelers with the urge to explore these places.

Contact us: sales[at]walktotheplace.com

Subscribe Now!