The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index increased slightly in October after decreasing a small amount in September. The index now stands at 50.2, up from 48.6 in September.

“Consumer confidence, while slightly improved from September levels, is still hovering at historically low levels,” said Lynn Franco, director of the consumer research center at The Conference Board. When the organization launched the index in 1985, the index stood at 100. “Consumers’ assessment of the current state of the economy is relatively unchanged, primarily because labor market conditions have yet to significantly improve. And despite the uptick in expectations, consumers continue to be quite concerned about the short-term outlook.”

Consumers’ appraisal of current conditions was mixed in October. Those who believe business conditions are bad decreased to 41.9% from 46%, while those who view business conditions as good edged up to 8.5% from 8.2%.

Consumers’ outlook on the labor market flat-out deteriorated, with those saying jobs are hard to get rose to 46.1% from 45.8%, while those stating that jobs are plentiful decreased to 3.5% from 3.8%.

Sixteen percent believe, nonetheless, that business conditions over the next six months will improve, up from 15%.

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