US consumer confidence hits 17-year record in October

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Print this page Email A Friend!

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — US consumer confidence recovered from the hurricane-induced slump last month to hit a 17-year high in October, according to a monthly survey released yesterday.

And the consumer confidence index for September was revised up to show a slight increase after the initial report showed a modest decline following the impact of hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

The index beat expectations, rising to 125.9 in October from the upwardly-revised 120.6 in September, the Conference Board survey showed. That marks four straight months of increases.

The positive confidence data “suggest the economy will continue expanding at a solid pace for the remainder of the year”, Lynn Franco, the Conference Board's head of indicators, said in a statement.

“Consumers were also considerably more upbeat about the short-term outlook, with the prospect of improving business conditions as the primary driver.”

The present condition index increased to 151.1 from 146.9, while the expectations index jumped six points to 109.1.

Confidence was boosted by the job market “which had not received such favourable ratings since the summer of 2001”, Franco said.

Amid the survey's employment indicators, “jobs plentiful” jumped nearly four points to 36.3, continuing a steady march upward as the US economy has continued to create jobs at a solid pace. The “jobs hard to get” measure slipped to 17.5.

Jim O'Sullivan, chief US economist at High Frequency Economics, said, “The data continue to signal a downtrend in the unemployment rate.”

US unemployment in September was 4.2 per cent, it's lowest level since February 2001.

In Texas, where the economy was battered by the devastating impact of Hurricane Harvey, confidence rose slightly, but the present situation index plunged for the second month to 138.6 from 152.9, according to the survey.

In contrast, confidence in Florida, where the hit from Hurricane Irma was far less damaging than initially feared, jumped to 132.5 from 125.9, and the present situation index rose to 170.8 from 162.8.




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon