Industry News

Consumers less confident about future

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The Conference Board today announced that its consumer confidence index dipped in February, reversing a two-month increase during the December-January period. The index now stands at 104 (1985=100), down from 105.1 in January. The present situation index increased to 116.4 from 112.1. The expectations index, however, declined to 95.7 from 100.4 last month. "Although expectations cooled this month, consumers are more optimistic today than they were a year ago," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board's Consumer Research Center. "Just as important, consumer confidence about current economic conditions, including the labor market, continues to gather momentum. Despite recent fluctuations, both present and future indicators point toward continued expansion in the months ahead." Consumers' overall assessment of current conditions continues to improve. Those claiming business conditions are "good" eased to 24.9 percent from 26.1 percent, but those claiming conditions are ...