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Consumer Confidence Comes in Below Expectations

July 28th, 2009 Michael McDonough

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence index fell to 46.6 in July from 49.3.  The Present Condition Index fell to 23.4 from an initial reading of 25.0, while the Expectations Index fell to 62.0 compared to an initial reading of 65.5. Weakness in the labor market was likely the primary driver behind these declines.  This is the second consecutive month of declines for the index.

Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center: said, “Consumer confidence, which had rebounded strongly in late spring, has faded in the last two months. The decline in the Present Situation Index was caused primarily by a worsening job market, as the percent of consumers claiming jobs are hard to get rose sharply. The decline in the Expectations Index was more the result of an increase in the proportion of consumers expecting no change in business and labor market conditions, as opposed to an increase in the percent of consumers expecting conditions to deteriorate further. However, more consumers are pessimistic about their income expectations, which does not bode well for spending in the months ahead.”

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