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Consumer Confidence Hits Historic Low

Published January 27, 2009

NEW YORK, NY (BRAIN)—The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index which hit a historic low in December of 38.6 percent, dipped further in January to 37.7 percent. Two other major indexes followed by the group—Present Situation Index and Expectations Index—also fell.

“The Consumer Confidence Index continues to hover at all-time lows, the index began in 1967, and it appears that consumers have begun the New Year with the same degree of pessimism that they exhibited in the final months of 2008,” said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center.

“Looking ahead, consumers remain quite pessimistic about the state of the economy and about their earnings. And, until we begin to see considerable improvements in the Expectations Index, we can't say that the worst of times are behind us,” Franco added.

The Present Situation Index declined to 29.9 percent from 30.2 percent last month. The Expectations Index decreased to 43.0 percent from 44.2 percent.

Consumers’ assessment of overall current conditions remains pessimistic. Those saying business conditions are “bad” increased to 47.9 percent from 45.8 percent, while those saying business conditions are “good” declined to 6.4 percent from 7.7 percent last month.

The Consumer Confidence Survey is based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households. The cutoff date for January's preliminary results was January 21.

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