Accessibility links

US Consumer Confidence Rises, Halting 5 Month Slide - 2003-10-28

Americans think the U.S. economy is turning around, reversing a five-month slide in consumer confidence.

Consumers say they are starting to see a more favorable job market, considered a key indicator of economic recovery. A new survey from the Conference Board, the private business research group that conducted the survey of 5,000 U.S. households, shows those reporting that jobs are "hard to get" eased to 33.8 percent from 35.1 percent in October.

Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board's research center, said "even though we have been having this roller coaster ride with confidence for several months, we had not really seen an improvement in the present situation, and in fact, October marks the first month that we have seen a turnaround in the present situation, which is a very favorable sign."

Ms. Franco said the climb in consumer confidence is a good omen for retail sales in the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season. "When we take a look at retail sales, we take a look at the present situation, and use that to assess shifts in spending. Given the fact that the holiday season is right around the corner, it does bode very well for retailers," she said.

The Conference Board asks Americans of different ages, financial backgrounds, and regions of the country to assess traditional economic indicators, such as business, and employment conditions.

Those expecting business conditions to improve during the next six months rose to 23.2 percent from 21.1 percent.