Consumer Confidence Down In February
March 1, 2010,
The Conference Board reported its Consumer Confidence Index plunged from a January reading of 56.5 to a mark of 46.0 this month (1985 = 100).
The Present Situation Index decreased to 19.4 from last month's 25.2. The Expectations Index declined to 63.8 in February from 77.3 in January.
“Consumers' assessment of current-day conditions soured in February,” the Board stated. “Those claiming conditions are 'good' decreased to 6.2% from 8.5%, while those claiming business conditions are 'bad' increased to 46.3% from 44.7%.”
Labor market concerns also deepened. “Those saying jobs are 'hard to get' rose to 47.7% from 46.5%, while those saying jobs are 'plentiful' decreased to 3.6% from 4.4%.”
The short-term outlook of American households saw marked darkening, with the percentage of consumers anticipating better business conditions over the next six months falling 16.7% this month from 20.7% in January; those predicting a worsening increased to 15.3% from 12.7%.
Checking their pocketbooks, the proportion of consumers anticipating an increase in their incomes declined to 9.5% from 11.0%, the Conference Board concluded.