Consumer Confidence Index Declines Again, Near Two-Year Low

September 27, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

Retail & E-Commerce

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had declined in August, fell even more in September and now stands at 99.8 (1985=100), down from 105.6 in August, The Conference Board reported.

Moreover, The Present Situation Index decreased to 121.7 from 130.1, and The Expectations Index declined to 85.2 from 89.2, it said.

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“The Consumer Confidence Index is now at its lowest level in nearly two years (Nov. 2005, 98.3),” said  Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. “Weaker business conditions, combined with a less favorable job market, continue to cast a cloud over consumers and heighten their sense of uncertainty and concern.”

“Looking ahead, little economic improvement is expected, and with the holiday season around the corner this is not welcome news,” she added.

Among the data reported by The Conference Board:

  • Consumers’ appraisal of current-day conditions waned further in September:
    • Those claiming conditions are “good” decreased to 25.7% from 26.2%.
    • Those saying conditions are “bad” increased to 17.9% from 16.3%.
  • Consumers were also less positive in their appraisal of the labor market:
    • The percentage of consumers saying jobs are “hard to get” increased to 22.1% from 19.7%.
    • Those claiming jobs are “plentiful” decreased to 25.7% from 27.5% in August.
  • Consumers’ expectations for the next six months weakened further in September:
    • Those anticipating business conditions to worsen rose to 11.8% from 10.2%.
    • However, those anticipating business conditions to improve edged up to 15.6% from 15.0%.
  • The outlook for the labor market was mixed:
    • The percentage of consumers expecting more jobs in the months ahead inched up to 13.3% from 12.9%.
    • Those anticipating fewer jobs increased to 18.7% from 15.2%.
    • The proportion of consumers expecting their incomes to increase in the months ahead improved moderately to 20.4% from 19.8%.

About the Index: 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. The cutoff date for September’s preliminary results was September 18th.

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