Archive

ShareThis Page
U.S. consumer confidence tumbles in December | TribLIVE.com
U.S./World

U.S. consumer confidence tumbles in December

The Associated Press
579204579204ebf86ff142924d809d200718d6efef1f
FILE - In this Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018 file photo, people walk past a holiday window at Saks Fifth Avenue, in New York. U.S. consumer confidence tumbled this month as Americans began to worry that economic growth will moderate next year. The Conference Board, a business research group, says its consumer confidence index fell to 128.1 in December, down from 136.4 in November and lowest since July. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

WASHINGTON — U.S. consumer confidence tumbled this month as Americans began to worry that economic growth will moderate next year. But consumer spirits are still high by historic standards.

The Conference Board, a business research group, said Thursday that its consumer confidence index fell to 128.1 in December, down from 136.4 in November and lowest since July.

The index measures consumers’ assessment of current economic conditions and their outlook for the next six months. Both fell in December. Consumers’ expectations for the future dropped to the lowest level since November 2016.

The December readings “still suggest that the economy will continue expanding at a solid pace in the short-term,” said Lynn Franco, the Conference Board’s senior director of economic indicators. “While consumers are ending 2018 on a strong note, back-to-back declines in expectations are reflective of an increasing concern that the pace of economic growth will begin moderating in the first half of 2019.”

For now, the U.S. economy is solid. Economic growth clocked in at a healthy 3.4 percent annual pace from July through September after surging 4.2 percent in the second quarter. At 3.7 percent, the unemployment rate is the lowest in nearly five decades.

But the U.S. stock market has dropped sharply since early October. Investors have plenty to worry about. The Federal Reserve has gradually been raising interest rates. The economic boost from year-old tax cuts is expected to fade in 2019. Global growth is sputtering. And the U.S. and China — the world’s two biggest economies — are locked in a trade war that threatens to disrupt global commerce.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.