The consumer's assessment of current conditions is at its lowest point since December while consumer expectations are at their lowest point since the recession. The consumer confidence index fell 6.6 points in October to 39.8 with the current conditions component down a sharp seven points to 26.3 and the expectations component down 6.4 points to 48.7.
Stand-out weakness appears in the current assessment of business conditions where fewer, 11.0 percent, describe conditions as good and more, 43.7 percent, describe conditions as bad. And what is not a good sign for holiday spending, stand-out weakness also appears in income expectations where fewer, 10.3 percent, see their income rising and more, 19.2%, see their income decreasing. This inversion in income with pessimists on top is very rare for this series.
One good piece of news is a dip back, to 47.1 percent, in those who say jobs are currently hard to get in what is a mildly positive indication for the October jobs report. Inflation expectations are unchanged at 5.8 percent.
Today's report shows surprising weakness with the index reading of 39.8 well under Econoday's consensus for 46.0. But weak consumer spirits haven't held back retail sales in the least, at least not in August and September. Stocks moved lower following this report.