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Consumer Confidence Turns Down in November

decreasing-twoConsumer confidence retreated this month, falling from a seven-year high on a gloomier outlook for what the future will bring.

The Conference Board's index of consumer confidence declined to 88.7 in the group's November reading, according to a report. The drop follows a bump of more than five points in October to a post-recession high of 94.5 (revised to 94.1 in the latest measure).

"Consumer confidence retreated in November, primarily due to reduced optimism in the short-term outlook," said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board.

The index's component gauging consumer expectations fell nearly seven points this month, decreasing to 87 after a spike in October.

According to the Conference Board, consumers in the latest survey were less optimistic about the labor market outlook, reflected in a decline in the share of respondents expecting more jobs in the next six months and an increase of more than 2 percentage points in the share expecting fewer jobs.

Americans were also slightly more pessimistic about income growth, with fewer expecting higher wages in the coming months.

Meanwhile, the index's present situation component saw a more moderate decline, falling three points to 91.3.

News of the decline in the headline index came on the same day of the Commerce Department's most recent estimate on economic growth. According to the government's figures, gross domestic product grew through the third quarter at an annual rate of 3.9 percent, helped partly by an increase in consumer spending.

Based on that, analysts for Wells Fargo's Economics Group say the drop in confidence is nothing to worry about.

"[T]his morning's revision to third quarter GDP indicated a stronger pace of real consumer spending and October's retail sales report indicated that spending was off to a good start in the fourth quarter," Wells Fargo economists Mark Vitner and Michael Brown said in a note. "That is hardly the data you would expect if consumers were growing more concerned."

About Author: Tory Barringer

Tory Barringer began his journalism career in early 2011, working as a writer for the University of Texas at Arlington's student newspaper before joining the DS News team in 2012. In addition to contributing to DSNews.com, he is also the online editor for DS News' sister publication, MReport, which focuses on mortgage banking news.
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