The Board’s consumer confidence index dipped to 125.5 this month. That’s down from 126.1 in October. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected the index to rise to 126.6.
The present situation index also fell to 166.9 from 173.5 in November. This “suggests that economic growth in the final quarter of 2019 will remain weak,” said Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, in a statement. “However, consumers’ short-term expectations improved modestly, and growth in early 2020 is likely to remain at around 2%. Overall, confidence levels are still high and should support solid spending during this holiday season.”
Tuesday’s data release is the latest pointing to weaker economic growth to end the year. The New York Federal Reserve’s Staff Nowcast, which estimates quarterly GDP growth, points to an expansion of just 0.7% in the fourth quarter. The Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow measure indicates growth of just 0.4%.
To be sure, expectations for the holiday shopping season are strong. The National Retail Federation expects holiday sales to grow by about 4% from last year.