Today's U.S. Consumer confidence drop
Today's U.S. Consumer confidence drop to a 5-month low of 125.5 in November from 126.1 (was 125.9) in October was due entirely to a current conditions drop alongside a big pull-back for the job strength diffusion index, as both measures fluctuate below 19-year highs seen in August. Analysts saw an expectations bounce, after three consecutive declines, and the inflation gauge fell sharply to a 9-month low of 4.4% from 4.8% in the prior two months, leaving that index well below the 4-year high of 5.1% last June. The consumer confidence drop joins the erratic 2019 oscillations for the major confidence measures around elevated levels. It's unclear to what degree the end to the UAW-GM strike and improved prospects earlier in the month for trade negotiations have lifted confidence, given the 4-month downtrend through November for today's index. Yet, other indexes rose in November, and the Michigan sentiment indexes were revised upward in the final report to suggest higher late-month readings. Overall, the monthly confidence gyrations have provided little insight on swings in actual spending. The path for consumption has remained solid in 2019 despite confidence gyrations, and analysts expect spending to remain strong into the holidays regardless of the monthly gyrations in the moods of survey respondents.