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Consumer confidence dips to recession level -- Conference Board

October 25, 2011 |  8:46 am

Consumer shopping
Consumer confidence plunged this month to levels not seen since the Great Recession ended in 2009, the Conference Board said Tuesday.

After a slight improvement in September, the 100-point index dropped to 39.8 this month, reflecting increased pessimism as the economic recovery stalls.

"Consumer confidence is now back to levels last seen during the 2008-2009 recession," said Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board Consumer Research Center. "Consumer expectations, which had improved in September, gave back all of the gain and then some, as concerns about business conditions, the labor market and income prospects increased."

A related index by the group, gauging consumers' views of current economic conditions, also dropped for the sixth straight month. Respondents who described business conditions as "bad" increased to 43.7% from 40.5%.

And consumers' short-term outlook grew more pessimistic as well, with 9.1% expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months, compared with 11.8% in September. Consumers who anticipated their incomes would increase also dropped, to 10.3% from 13.5%.

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-- Jim Puzzanghera

Photo: A woman and child outside a mall in Culver City. Credit: Associated Press.

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