Consumer confidence soars in October, a positive sign for continued economic growth

The Associated Press reports U.S. consumers are remarkably upbeat.

U.S. consumer confidence rose again this month, hitting a new 18-year high.

The Conference Board says its consumer confidence index climbed to 137.9 in October from 135.3 in September. Both readings are the highest since September 2000.

The index measures consumers’ assessment of current economic conditions and their outlook for the next six months. Both improved in October.

The Conference Board release says,

“Consumer Confidence increased in October, following a modest gain in September, and remains at levels last seen in the fall of 2000 (September 2000, 142.5),” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ assessment of present-day conditions remains quite positive, primarily due to strong employment growth. The Expectations Index posted another gain in October, suggesting that consumers do not foresee the economy losing steam anytime soon. Rather, they expect the strong pace of growth to carry over into early 2019.”

Coming on the heels of the unexpectedly strong 3.5 percent GDP growth in the third quarter, this is good news. If this holds up through the holiday season, it will be good news for Washington budget writers and even better news for Washington retailers and manufacturers.