U.S. consumer confidence recouped all of the ground lost in September and a little bit more, with the Conference Board’s measure rising to a post-recession high of 94.5 in October.
Lower gasoline prices and a strong labour market appear to be trumping more volatile financial markets and global concerns in determining sentiment among U.S. consumers at present, notes Andrew Grantham of CIBC World Market Economics.
“That doesn’t always transform into greater household spending, however, and indications of spending intentions were generally weaker in this survey, particularly for autos where only 10.8% plan to make a purchase in the next 6 months (down from 12.1% previously),” he says.
Grantham adds, “Separately, the Richmond Fed manufacturing index surprised by rising to +20, from +14 and against consensus expectations for a modest reduction. The better than expected headline reading for consumer sentiment could be a slight negative for Treasuries and positive for the US$ as well as consumer-related equities.”