Industry News

Outlook gloomier for jobs, economy

Report: Consumer spending may be at risk

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Consumer confidence declined in January on expectations that business conditions and employment will worsen in the coming months, The Conference Board reported today. The Consumer Confidence Index, which had improved moderately in December after four straight months of weakening, gave back the gain this month and now stands at 87.9, down from 90.6 in December. "The modest improvement in consumer confidence last month was short-lived. Consumers' appraisal of current business conditions is becoming more negative and their assessment of the job market, while slightly less negative than in December, is more negative than a year ago," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. "Looking ahead, consumers are quite downbeat about the short-term future, and a greater proportion expect business conditions and employment to deteriorate further in the months ahead. In addition, the percentage of consumers anticipating an improvement in their earnings ...