October 17, 2005

Carolinas’ consumer confidence at decades low-poll

MIAMI (Reuters) - Confidence among consumers in North
Carolina and South Carolina has touched lows not seen in more
than two decades, according to a poll published on Monday.

The annual Carolinas Poll index, which was based on a
telephone survey of 923 people in the neighboring states, gave
a reading of 108, down from a 125 last year, the Charlotte
Observer reported on its Web site.

The newspaper, which commissioned the poll along with
television station WCNC of Charlotte, North Carolina, said the
result was the lowest reading since 1982.

Carried out between August 25 and September 19, the poll
had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percent, the
newspaper said.

Last Friday, the University of Michigan reported that its
index of U.S. consumer sentiment fell unexpectedly in early
October to a 13-year low as high gasoline prices and the
effects of two big hurricanes overhung the national economy.

Confidence measures are used as an indicator of consumer
spending, which makes up about two-thirds of overall U.S.
economic activity.