December 7, 2021 – The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index decreased slightly in November to 109.5, below expectations and largely due to ongoing inflation concerns.¹ These slight declines hit both the present situation and future expectations components of the index.² The future expectations component decreased 1.4 points to 87.6, remaining well below the present situation component, which decreased 3 points to 142.5.
Consumers’ current impressions of the labor market and business conditions show a disconnect with future expectations. The differentials—percentage of consumers who view the category positively minus those who see it as negative—are headed in opposite directions.
The present labor market conditions differential improved to an all-time high of +46.9, while future labor market assessment moved slightly less positive in November. Consumers have a negative impression of current business conditions but were more positive in November regarding future business conditions. This disconnect exemplifies the volatility and uncertainty consumers see in the present and immediate future.