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Consumer Confidence Index falls in Feb
27
Feb '08
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had declined in January, fell sharply in February. The Index now stands at 75.0 (1985=100), down from 87.3 in January. The Expectations Index declined to 57.9 from 69.3. The Present Situation Index decreased to 100.6 from 114.3 in January.

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. TNS is the world's largest custom research company. The cutoff date for February's preliminary results was February 19th.

Says Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center: “The Consumer Confidence Index continues losing ground and, with the exception of the Iraqi War in 2003, is now at its lowest level in nearly fifteen years (Nov. 1993, 71.9).

The weakening in consumers' assessment of current conditions, fueled by a combination of less favorable business conditions and a sharp rise in the number of consumers saying jobs are hard to get, suggests that the pace of growth in early 2008 has slowed even further.

Consumers' expectations have also deteriorated significantly and are now at a seventeen-year low (Jan. 1991, 55.3). With so few consumers expecting conditions to turnaround in the months ahead, the outlook for the economy continues to worsen and the risk of a recession continues to increase.”

Consumers' appraisal of present-day conditions weakened significantly in February. Those claiming business conditions are “bad” increased to 21.8 percent from 20.1 percent, while those claiming business conditions are “good” declined to 18.5 percent from 20.6 percent.

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