U.S. consumer confidence rose in October after three straight declines as the public’s anxiety about the delta variant of the coronavirus appear to have abated.
The Conference Board reported Tuesday that its consumer confidence index rose to a reading of 113.8 in October, up from 109.8 in September.
Consumer spending makes up about 70% of all economic activity in the U.S., so economists pay close attention to the numbers for a better idea of what’s to come for the national economy.
Consumers’ view about both the present situation and future expectations both rebounded in October.
In addition to the delta variant, consumer concerns about inflation had dragged confidence lower. Earlier this month, the Labor Department reported another jump in consumer prices in September that sent inflation up 5.4% from where it was a year ago. That matched the largest increase since 2008 as snarled global supply chains continue to create havoc.
Last week, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said tangled supply chains and shortages that have hamstrung the U.S. economy since summer have gotten worse and will likely keep inflation elevated well into 2022.
The October increase in consumer confidence surprised analysts, who broadly expected a fourth straight decline.
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