Hurricane season hurt consumer confidence in September after a marginal increase last month, mostly due to decreases in sentiment in Texas and Florida — the two states severely impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
According to The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which tracks consumer sentiment, the Index now is at 119.8, down from the 120.4 reading last month. The Present Situation component fell to 146.1 from 148.1, while the Expectations portion inched up to 102.2 from 101.7.
Lynn Franco, director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board, said sentiment in Texas and Florida “decreased considerably.” Despite of the dip, Franco said that “consumers’ assessment of current conditions remains quite favorable and their expectations for the short-term suggest the economy will continue expanding at its current pace.”
Also getting a mixed read, but in line with the two Index components, was consumers’ appraisal of the labor front. Those who said jobs are “plentiful” slipped to 32.6 percent from 34.4 percent. Those who said jobs are “hard to get” inched down to 18.1 percent from 18.4 percent. But those who said they expect more jobs ahead rose to 19.5 percent from 16.8 percent. The expectations portion measures sentiment six months out.
As for short-term income prospects, respondents who said they expect an improvement rose to 20.5 percent from 19.9 percent.