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Consumer confidence at another all-time low mark  

New York – The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index has made another historic mark in the wrong direction, with the January measure at 37.7, down from 38.6 in December (1985=100).

Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, said it appears that “consumers have begun the New Year with the same degree of pessimism that they exhibited in the final months of 2008.”

Of two key components, the Present Situation Index declined slightly to 29.9 from 30.2, while the Expectations Index dipped to 43.0 from 44.2.

“The minor change in the Present Situation Index suggests that economic conditions did not deteriorate significantly further in January but, on the other hand, they did not improve either,” observed Franco. “Looking ahead, consumers remain quite pessimistic about the state of the economy and about their earnings. And, until we begin to see considerable improvements in the Expectations Index, we can’t say that the worst of times are behind us.”

Consumers’ assessment of overall current conditions remains pessimistic, the research organization noted: “Those saying business conditions are ‘bad’ increased to 47.9% from 45.8%, while those saying business conditions are ‘good’ declined to 6.4% from 7.7% last month.”

Surveys for the January round of research were completed on Jan. 21.

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