Industry News

Consumer confidence dips in New England

Largest gains overall in last year in West North Central region

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Consumer confidence across America, which has now declined for four consecutive months, has been weakest in the New England region over the last year, according to an analysis released by The Conference Board. This region includes Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. The Conference Board's widely watched Consumer Confidence Index for New England is now 77.9 (November), down from 87.7 the previous month. It was 104.2 a year ago. "Since foreign trade is a major issue in New England, fears about job losses in key industries have made a dent in consumer confidence," Conference Board Economist Ken Goldstein said. "Throughout this region, higher oil prices have had a widespread impact on consumers and high hopes for more jobs have been jolted. The only surprise in this region is that confidence hasn't declined more than it has. The big question now is whether New England consumers will pull back, or step forward, during this holiday spending season." ...