Consumer Confidence Improved Again in September

September 27, 2022 by Dan McCue
Consumer Confidence Improved Again in September
A portion of the sales floor at Macy's flagship store in New York. (Photo by Dan McCue)

NEW YORK — Consumer confidence jumped to a five-month high this month as falling gas prices helped ease the pinch of stubbornly persistent inflation.

According to The Conference Board, the nonpartisan, member-driven think tank, its Consumer Confidence Index® increased in September for the second consecutive month. 

The Index now stands at 108.0 (1985=100), up from 103.6 in August. 

The organization’s Present Situation Index — based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions — rose to 149.6 from 145.3 last month. 


The Expectations Index — based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions — increased to 80.3 from 75.8. 

“Consumer confidence improved in September for the second consecutive month supported in particular by jobs, wages, and declining gas prices,” said Lynn Franco, senior director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board, in a written statement. 

“The Present Situation Index rose again, after declining from April through July. The Expectations Index also improved from summer lows, but recession risks nonetheless persist,” Franco said. “Concerns about inflation dissipated further in September … and are now at their lowest level since the start of the year.”

Nevertheless, The Conference Board found that consumers’ purchasing intentions were “mixed,” with intentions to buy automobiles and big-ticket appliances up, while home purchasing intentions fell. 

“The latter no doubt reflects rising mortgage rates and a cooling housing market. Looking ahead, the improvement in confidence may bode well for consumer spending in the final months of 2022, but inflation and interest-rate hikes remain strong headwinds to growth in the short term,” Franco said.

The Federal Reserve has been raising interest rates sharply to tame the highest inflation in 40 years. 


These higher rates increase borrowing costs for houses, new cars and other big-ticket items, and, the Fed hopes, its moves will eventually slow the overheated post-pandemic economy.

Consumers’ View of the Present

Consumers’ appraisal of current business conditions was more favorable.

In September, 20.8% of consumers said business conditions were “good,” up from 19.0% and 21.2% of consumers said business conditions were “bad,” down from 22.6%.

Consumers’ assessment of the labor market also improved with 49.4% of consumers saying jobs were “plentiful,” up from 47.6%. And 11.4% of consumers said jobs were “hard to get,” down slightly from 11.6%.

Expectations Six Months From Today

Consumers were more positive about the short-term business conditions outlook in September with 19.3% of consumers expecting business conditions to improve, up from 17.3% and 21.0% expecting business conditions to worsen, down from 21.7%.

Consumers were more optimistic about the short-term labor market outlook with 17.5% of consumers expecting more jobs to be available, up from 17.1% and 17.7% anticipating fewer jobs, down from 19.6%.

Consumers were mixed about their short-term financial prospects with 18.4% of consumers expecting their incomes to increase, up from 16.6% and 14.3% expecting their incomes to decrease, up from 13.9%.


The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey®, based on an online sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Toluna, a technology company that delivers real-time consumer insights and market research through its innovative technology, expertise, and panel of over 36 million consumers. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was Sept. 20.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue.

A+
a-

In The News

Health

Voting

Economy

December 2, 2022
by Dan McCue
President Signs Measure to Avert Nationwide Rail Shutdown

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden moved quickly Friday morning to sign H.J. Res. 100 into law and thereby avert a... Read More

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden moved quickly Friday morning to sign H.J. Res. 100 into law and thereby avert a nationwide rail shutdown that many have said would have caused a devastating $2 billion-per-day hit to the U.S. economy. The president signed the bill shortly after... Read More

December 1, 2022
by Kate Michael
Fed Chair to Slow Rate Hikes, but 'Will Stay the Course'

WASHINGTON — Chairman of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell gave America news that encouraged a stock market rally Wednesday when... Read More

WASHINGTON — Chairman of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell gave America news that encouraged a stock market rally Wednesday when he admitted the Fed is willing to slow the rate of interest rate increases. After he spoke at the Brookings Institution on Wednesday afternoon, the Dow... Read More

November 30, 2022
by Dan McCue
House Passes Legislation to Avert Nationwide Rail Strike

WASHINGTON — The House passed legislation Wednesday to avert a nationwide rail strike, the first step in avoiding an economic... Read More

WASHINGTON — The House passed legislation Wednesday to avert a nationwide rail strike, the first step in avoiding an economic calamity at the height of the holiday shopping season. The chamber passed the main resolution in a 290-137 vote, sending it to the Senate for consideration... Read More

November 21, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
Railroad Unions Reject Labor Contract in a Potential Blow to US Economy

WASHINGTON — Railroad unions that rejected a proposed labor contract on Monday are threatening the nation’s economy as the Christmas... Read More

WASHINGTON — Railroad unions that rejected a proposed labor contract on Monday are threatening the nation’s economy as the Christmas season approaches. The “no” vote by the unions sets the stage for a strike as soon as Dec. 9, unless Congress intervenes to stop it. Economists... Read More

November 15, 2022
by Dan McCue
Wholesale Prices Moderate, Adding to Hopes That Inflation Is Waning

WASHINGTON — Wholesale prices increased less than expected in October, yet another indicator that inflation, which has stubbornly dogged the... Read More

WASHINGTON — Wholesale prices increased less than expected in October, yet another indicator that inflation, which has stubbornly dogged the economy for much of the year, is finally beginning to wane. The producer price index, a measure of the prices that companies get for finished goods... Read More

November 11, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
Federal Judge Orders End to Student Debt Relief Plan

DALLAS, Texas — A federal judge in Texas on Thursday blocked the Biden administration’s plan to wipe out as much... Read More

DALLAS, Texas — A federal judge in Texas on Thursday blocked the Biden administration’s plan to wipe out as much as $20,000 in student debt for millions of borrowers. He said the plan exceeds the authority of the president without first getting legislative approval from Congress.... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top