Industry News

Job woes hurt consumer confidence

More Americans expect weak economy in early '05

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Consumer confidence fell for the fourth consecutive month in November, private research group The Conference Board reported today. The Conference Board's consumer confidence index now stands at 90.5 (1985=100), down from 92.9 in October. The survey is based on a sample of 5,000 U.S. households. The expectations index in November declined to 87.4 from 92.2 in October. The present situation index edged up to 95.2 from 94. "With consumers' assessment of current conditions holding steadfast and intentions to spend for the holiday season up from a year ago, the outlook for retailers is mildly encouraging," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board's Consumer Research Center. "But looking beyond the upcoming holidays, the continuing erosion in expectations suggests consumers do not feel the economy is likely to gain major momentum in early 2005." Consumers' appraisal of current conditions was mixed. Those claiming business conditions are "good" increased to 23 percent from 21...