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Outlook for labor market less favorable
Jan '08
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had improved moderately in December, gave back the gain in January. The Index now stands at 87.9 (1985=100), down from 90.6 in December.

The Expectations Index declined to 69.6 from 75.8. The Present Situation Index, however, increased to 115.3 from 112.9 in December.

The Consumer Confidence Survey is based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households. The monthly survey is conducted for The Conference Board by TNS, the world's largest custom research company. The cutoff date for January's preliminary results was January 21st.

Says Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center: “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.

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 has declined and could potentially impact spending decisions.”

Consumers' appraisal of present-day conditions, despite the slight improvement, is less than favorable. Those claiming business conditions are “bad” rose to 20.0 percent from 18.8 percent, while those claiming business conditions are “good” decreased to 20.7 percent from 21.2 percent.

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