The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had improved in Aug-2010, retreated in Sep-2010, with the index now standing at 48.5 (1985=100), down from 53.2 in Aug-2010. The Present Situation Index decreased to 23.1 from 24.9 while the Expectations Index declined to 65.4 from 72.0 last month. Other consumer confident measures were as follows:
- Current conditions: The Conference Board stated consumers’ assessment of current conditions weakened further in Sep-2010: those saying business conditions are “bad” increased from 42.3% to 46.1%, while those claiming business conditions are “good” declined from 8.4% to 8.1%;
- Appraisal of labour market: Consumers’ appraisal of the labour market was also less favourable: those claiming jobs are “hard to get” rose from 45.5% to 46.1% while those stating jobs are “plentiful” decreased from 4.0% to 3.8%;
- Consumer expectations: Consumers’ expectations took a turn for the worse in Sep-2010 with the percentage of consumers expecting business conditions will worsen over the next six months rising from 13.4% to 16.4% while those anticipating business conditions will improve declined from 16.9% to 14.9%;
- Future employment prospects: Consumers are also more pessimistic about future employment prospects with those expecting more jobs in the months ahead remaining essentially unchanged at 14.5% in Sep-2010 (compared with 14.7% in Aug-2010). However, those anticipating fewer jobs increased from 19.6% to 22.7%. The proportion of consumers expecting an increase in their incomes declined slightly from 10.6% to 10.2%. [more]
The Conference Board: “September’s pull-back in confidence was due to less favourable business and labour market conditions, coupled with a more pessimistic short-term outlook. Overall, consumers’ confidence in the state of the economy remains quite grim. And, with so few expecting conditions to improve in the near term, the pace of economic growth is not likely to pick up in the coming months,” Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Centre. Source: Company Statement, 28-Sep-2010.