Consumer confidence falls to lowest since Mar ’09

The Oct Conference Board Consumer Confidence figure of 39.8 was well below expectations of 46 and down from 46.4 in Sept. It’s the weakest since Mar ’09 when it was down to 26.9. Both the Present Situation and Future Expectations components were down. The answers to the labor market questions were mixed. Those that said jobs were Plentiful fell to 3.4 from 5.6 to the lowest since Dec ’09 but those that said jobs were Hard to Get fell 2.3 pts. Those that said Business Conditions were Good fell to the weakest since Nov ’10 and those that said Business was Bad rose to the highest since Nov ’10. Those that plan to buy a home within 6 mo’s fell almost 1 pt to the lowest since Dec and those than plan to buy an auto was little changed. Interestingly, those that plan to take a vacation within 6 mo’s rose to the most since Dec. Take me away! One year inflation expectations were unchanged at 5.8%. Bottom line, the general economic unease we see everyday is certainly reflected in the data and while how consumers behave doesn’t always equate to how they feel, the uncertain feeling just won’t go away.

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