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Consumer Confidence Index declines in October

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Press release from the issuing company

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had declined in September, deteriorated further in October. The Index now stands at 47.7 (1985=100), down from 53.4 in September. The Present Situation Index decreased to 20.7 from 23.0 last month. The Expectations Index declined to 65.7 from 73.7 in September.

The Consumer Confidence Survey is based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households. The monthly survey is conducted for The Conference Board by TNS. TNS is the world's largest custom research company. The cutoff date for October's preliminary results was October 21st.

Says Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center: "Consumers' assessment of present-day conditions has grown less favorable, with labor market conditions playing a major role in this grimmer assessment. In fact, the Present Situation Index is now at its lowest reading in 26 years (Index 17.5, Feb. 1983). The short-term outlook has also grown more negative, as a greater proportion of consumers anticipate business and labor market conditions will worsen in the months ahead. Consumers also remain quite pessimistic about their future earnings, a sentiment that will likely constrain spending during the holidays."

Consumers' assessment of current conditions worsened in October. Those claiming business conditions are "bad" increased to 47.1 percent from 46.3 percent, while those claiming conditions are "good" decreased to 7.7 percent from 8.6 percent. Consumers' appraisal of the labor market was also bleaker. Those claiming jobs are "hard to get" increased to 49.6 percent from 47.0 percent, while those claiming jobs are "plentiful" decreased to 3.4 percent from 3.6 percent.  

Consumers' short-term outlook grew more pessimistic in October. Those anticipating an improvement in business conditions over the next six months decreased to 20.8 percent from 21.3 percent, while those expecting conditions to worsen increased to 18.3 percent from 14.6 percent.

The labor market outlook was also more negative. The percentage of consumers expecting more jobs in the months ahead declined to 16.3 percent from 18.0 percent, while those expecting fewer jobs increased to 26.6 percent from 22.9 percent. The proportion of consumers expecting an increase in their incomes decreased to 10.3 percent from 11.2 percent.




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