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Consumer Confidence Reading Hits 28-Month Low

Aug 30, 2011 11:17 AM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT... The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® fell in August to its lowest level since April 2009 at 44.5 points. One year ago, the index registered 53.2 points. The Present Situation Index, however, rose 34 percent year on year to 33.3 points, which was the only positive trend from the monthly survey. The Expectations Index decreased 28 percent to 51.9 points.

Lynn Franco, the director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, explained,  "Consumer confidence deteriorated sharply in August, as consumers grew significantly more pessimistic about the short-term outlook.

''A contributing factor may have been the debt ceiling discussions since the decline in confidence was well underway before the S&P downgrade. Consumers' assessment of current conditions, on the other hand, posted only a modest decline as employment conditions continue to suppress confidence,'' Franco added.

Those claiming that jobs are "hard to get" represented the attitude of 49.1 percent of those polled, while those stating that jobs are "plentiful" stood at a meager 4.7 percent. Only 11.8 percent expect business conditions to improve in the coming six months and 24.6 percent expect  business conditions to worsen.

Tags: business, conditions, confidence, consumer, Consumers, Jeff Miller, jobs
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