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Consumer confidence falls in September

By Sheyna Steiner ·
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Posted: 2 pm ET

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, 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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Sheyna Steiner
September 29, 2010 at 9:32 am

That is an oft-heard complaint about the media.

It would be an interesting social experiment to only expose people to positive news for a month and see what happens.

September 28, 2010 at 8:29 pm

I love the circular nature of telling people they have no confidence.

Can it ever be anything more than an exercise in the tail wagging the dog wagging the tail wagging the dog.

The media is absolutely in love with reporting bad news as a rule, and while we shouldn't stick our heads in the sand we would definitely appreciate a more even handed approach that actually gives us a balanced view of the world around us.

As it stands the eyes and ears of our society are tuned in on the worst of the worst and then we wonder why everyone is scared....?

I don't want to take things too political, but has anyone else out there considered the consequences of the out of office political party continuous bashing of the economy? Is this more or less patriotic than war bashing? Which really has a more negative impact on our country? I think it would be interesting to see which party has a more negative view of the economy...and in turn what effect that groups exaggerated lack of confidence is doing to the GDP.