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Consumer Confidence Hits a New Record Low

The Conference Board Consumer Index declined again in February, posting an all-time low for the second month in a row.

The Index now stands at 25.0, down from 37.4 in January. The Present Situation Index declined to 21.2 from 29.7 last month. The Expectations Index decreased to 27.5 from 42.5 in January.

“The decline in the Present Situation Index, driven by worsening business conditions and a rapidly deteriorating job market, suggests that overall economic conditions have weakened even further this quarter,” said Lynn Franco, director of the board’s research center.

“Looking ahead, increasing concerns about business conditions, employment and earnings have further sapped confidence and driven expectations to their lowest level ever,” she said.

Consumers claiming business conditions are “bad” rose to 51.1% from 47.9%, while those saying business conditions are “good” bumped up to 6.8% from 6.5% last month. Consumers’ view of the labor market soured considerably in February, with those describing jobs as “hard to get” rising to 47.8% from 41.1% and those considering jobs “plentiful” falling to 4.4% from 7.1%.

Their view of the employment outlook also deteriorated. The percentage of consumers anticipating there will be fewer jobs in the months ahead jumped to 47.3% from 36.9%. Those expecting more jobs fell to 7.1% from 9.1%.

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