Consumers' expectations improved over last month's readings. Those anticipating an improvement in business conditions in the next six months rose slightly to 19.9 percent from 19.3 percent. Those expecting conditions to deteriorate fell to 11.4 percent from 14.3 percent.
The employment outlook was also more favorable this month. Consumers expecting fewer jobs over the next six months declined to 18.9 percent from 22.1 percent, while those anticipating more jobs held steady at 15.3 percent.
Income expectations were more optimistic. Now, 19.0 percent of consumers anticipate a rise in their incomes, up from 17.9 percent in October.
The modest improvement in consumers' assessment of the present situation was due to a slight improvement in current business conditions, with labor market conditions still stagnant. Consumers rating current business conditions as "bad" declined to 26.0 from 27.7 percent. Those holding the opposite view increased to 16.0 percent from 15.6 percent. Consumers reporting jobs are hard to get rose to 27.5 percent from 27.3 percent last month. Those claiming jobs are plentiful slipped to 14.1 from 14.7 percent.