Consumer confidence rises in October: survey

Consumer confidence rises in October: survey
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Consumer confidence in the U.S. economy increased in October amid strong GDP growth and low joblessness, according to a key survey released Tuesday by business research group The Conference Board.

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index rose to 137.9 in October after a smaller increase to 135.3 in September, the group announced Tuesday. Consumers’ forecasts for current economy improved from 169.4 to 172.8, while expectations for the near future improved from 112.5 to 114.6 this month.

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“Consumers’ assessment of present-day conditions remains quite positive, primarily due to strong employment growth,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board.

“Consumers do not foresee the economy losing steam anytime soon. Rather, they expect the strong pace of growth to carry over into early 2019.”

The Consumer Confidence Index, administered by the Conference Board and Nielsen, is a key key monthly survey that policymakers and analysts use to gauge the American mood toward the economy. Consumer spending plays a critical role in U.S. GDP growth and often serves as a bellwether for the broader economy.

Statistics released by the government on Friday showed the economy growing at a healthy 3.5 percent rate in the third quarter, down from an exceptional 4.2 percent in the second quarter.

Third-quarter GDP growth was powered primarily by consumer spending and retail inventories, which typically reflect short-term confidence in the economy. But business investment and capital expansion fell over the past three months—two warning signs that the Trump boom could be past its prime.