Bad news, everybody. The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index fell this month, from 53.2 in August to 48.5 in September.
Consumers aren't harboring high hopes for the near future, either. The Expectations Index also fell -- to 65.4 from 72 in August.
Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, offered an explanation for the decrease in Tuesday's press release announcing the results.
"September's pullback in confidence was due to less favorable business and labor market conditions, coupled with a more pessimistic short-term outlook. Overall, consumers' confidence in the state of the economy remains quite grim," she said.
The indices are based on the Consumer Confidence Survey, which samples 5,000 American households to gauge their feelings about the economy.
Consumer confidence is considered a leading economic indicator and alerts economists to changes in store for the country's collective pocketbook. Consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of all economic activity, so a happy populace with open wallets is the ideal.
A thriving economy generally registers around 90 or higher on the Consumer Confidence Index, Marketwatch.com reports in a story titled, "September consumer confidence falls."
A survey from Pew Research Center at the end of 2009 found that low consumer confidence was transforming Americans' attitudes about household necessities. Rita Colorito wrote about the survey for Bankrate, "Americans giving up former 'necessities'" and found that the importance of appliances such as clothes dryers and televisions drastically decreased with consumers' bleak outlook.
How have the recession and the "recovery" influenced you?
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