November 25, 2008

Consumer confidence up from record low

The Conference Board said Tuesday its monthly index of consumer confidence in the United States rose slightly above the record low set in October.

November's 44.9 level was sightly above October's 38.8 reading, which was the lowest on record.

The monthly index is derived from a survey of 5,000 households taken early in the month. It uses 1985 as the base year, giving that year a value of 100.

July's Present Situation Index fell in November to 42.2 from an October reading of 43.5. The Expectations Index increased modestly, rising from 35.7 to 46.7.

The persistent declines in the Present Situation Index suggest that the economy has weakened further in the final months of this year, said Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board Consumer Research Center.

In the survey, those indicating business conditions were bad increased from 37.1 percent to 40.3 percent, while claims business conditions were good rose slightly from 9.4 percent to 9.9 percent.

Those indicating jobs are hard to get rose from 36.6 percent 37.2 percent, while those indicating jobs were plentiful fell from 9 percent to 8.8 percent, the report said.