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Economy in Brief

Consumer Confidence Down Again
by Tom Moeller November 30, 2004

The Conference Board’s Index of Consumer Confidence fell for the fourth consecutive month, down 2.6% in November to the lowest level (90.5) since March. Consensus expectations had been for a reading of 96.0.

During the last twenty years there has been a 51% correlation between consumer confidence and the y/y change in real consumer spending.

The index of consumer expectations fell sharply for the third month in the last four to 87.4 (-12.7% y/y). The present situation index rose modestly to 95.2 (+17.5% y/y) following three months of decline.

Jobs were viewed as hard to get by 28.1% of survey participants versus 27.9% in October and by 31.8% during all of last year. Fewer jobs in six months were expected by 19.7% of participants, the highest percentage in a year.

The Conference Board’s survey isconducted by a mailed questionnaire to 5,000 households and about 3,500 typically respond.

Conference Board Nov Oct Y/Y 2003 2002 2001
Consumer Confidence 90.5 92.9 -2.2% 79.8 96.6 106.6
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