Consumer confidence remains poor, Conference Board says
After plunging in August, consumer confidence remained poor in September as Americans continued to worry that renewed economic troubles would limit their future earnings, the Conference Board reported Tuesday.
The group's closely watched Consumer Confidence Index was essentially unchanged at 45.4 in September, up slightly from 45.2 last month. The debt-ceiling standoff in Washington and other poor economic news had caused the 100-point index to drop to a two-year low in August from July's 59.2 reading.
"The pessimism that shrouded consumers last month has spilled over into September," said Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board Consumer Research Center.
Consumers expressed greater concern about their expected earnings, she said, "a sign that does not bode well for spending." The survey showed that 13.3% of consumers anticipated having more income in the next six months, down from 14.3% in August.
And for the fifth straight month the survey showed that consumers had a lower assessment of the current state of the economy.
For example, those who said business conditions are "good" decreased to 11.7% in September from 14.1% last month, and those who said jobs were "hard to get" increased to 50% from 48.5%.
-- Jim Puzzanghera
Photo: A shopper at Costco in Mountain View, Calif. Credit: Associated Press