Industry News

Consumer confidence falters

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Consumer confidence tumbled in August as troubles in business, stocks and mortgages put Americans in a darker mood, The Conference Board reported today. The Consumer Confidence Index fell to 105 this month from 111.9 in July, reversing all of last month's gain. Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, said in a statement that "a softening in business conditions and labor market conditions" was responsible for the drop in confidence, while "volatility in financial markets and continued subprime housing woes may have (also) played a role in dampening consumers' spirits." According to the survey, the percentage of consumers claiming present-day conditions are "good" decreased to 26.4 percent in August from 28.3 percent in July, while those saying conditions are "bad" increased to 16.3 percent from 14.5 percent. Those saying jobs are "hard to get" increased to 19.7 percent from 18.7 percent, and those claiming jobs are "plentiful" decreased to 27...