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 user 2003-10-09 at 1:24:00 pm Views: 69
  • #7649
    Consumer Confidence Falls in September Amidst Weak Job Market
    The US Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index, which had rebounded last month, dropped in September to 76.8, nearly a five point drop from 81.7 registered in August. The Expectations Index fell to 88.4 from 94.9 and the Present Situation Index declined to 59.5 from 62.0.

    “The lack of improvement in the labor market conditions continues to dampen consumers’ spirits,” says Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board’s Consumer Research Center. “Despite September’s retreat, consumers remain cautiously optimistic about the outlook for the next six months. Consumer spending is likely to continue at or near current levels.”

    Consumers’ expectations for the next six months weakened in September as well. Consumers anticipating business conditions to improve over the next six months slipped to 21.4% from 22.6% in August. Those expecting business conditions to deteriorate rose to 11.9% from 10.6%.

    Consumers were also pessimistic on the employment outlook. Those anticipating the job market to improve in the next six months decreased to 16.7% from 18%. Those expecting fewer jobs to become available increased to 21% from 18.6%. Also, consumers anticipating an increase in their incomes fell to 18.6% from 20.7%.

    According to the survey, consumers’ appraisal of current conditions was based on the job market. Those reporting jobs were “hard to get” increased to 35.3% from 34.1%. Those claiming jobs are “plentiful” declined to 10% from 11.3% in August.

    Consumers appraisal of the current business environment remained relatively unchanged from August. Those rating business conditions as “good” rose up to 16% from 15.9%, while those holding the opposite view declined to 29.6% from 31%.