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Economic Snapshot: Consumer confidence rises to 15-year high

By Brianna Liestman

Consumer confidence is up again this month, now at its highest level in 15 years.

Consumer confidence

The Consumer Confidence Index posted another gain in December after a considerable increase in November. The index now stands at 113.7, up from 109.4 last month.

The Expectations Index jumped from 94.4 to 105.5 but the Present Situation Index decreased from 132.0 to 126.1.

Consumers saying business conditions are “good” decreased slightly from 29.7 to 29.2 and those saying business conditions are “bad” increased from 15.2 percent to 17.3 percent. Consumers stating jobs are “plentiful” declined from 27.8 percent to 26.9 percent and those claiming jobs are “hard to get” increased from 21.2 percent to 22.5 percent.

Those expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months climbed from 16.4 percent to 23.6 percent and those expecting conditions to worsen declined from 9.9 percent to 8.7 percent.

The proportion of consumers expecting more jobs in the months ahead increased from 16.1 percent to 21.0 percent. However, those anticipating fewer jobs also increased from 13.5 percent to 14.0 percent. The percentage of consumers expecting their incomes to increase rose from 17.4 percent to 21.0 percent and the proportion expecting a decrease fell from 9.2 percent to 8.6 percent.

New home sales

Sales of new single-family houses were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 592,000 in November. This is 5.2 percent above the revised October rate of 563,000 and 16.5 percent above the November 2015 estimate of 508,000.

The median sales price of new houses sold in November 2016 was $305,4000 and the average sales price was $359,900. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of November 2016 was 250,000, which represents a supply of 5.1 months at the current sales rate.

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