Consumer Confidence Index Declines Again – Second Recession Probable

NEW YORK, June 28, 2011 — The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index continued its multi-month decline in June. After having decreased to 61.7 in May the economic index hit 58.5 this month indicating that consumers are feeling the onset of a second, or double-dip, recession.

Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center Lynn Franco said, “This month’s decline in consumer confidence was driven by a less favorable assessment of current conditions and continued pessimism about the short-term outlook. Consumers rated both current business and labor market conditions less favorably than in May, and fewer consumers than last month foresee conditions improving over the next six months. Inflation fears eased considerably in June, but concerns about income prospects increased. Given the combination of uneasiness about the economic outlook and future earnings, consumers are likely to continue weighing their spending decisions quite carefully.”

Consumer confidence dropped in many key areas. Their appraisal of present conditions was less favorable than in May, those claiming business conditions are “bad” increased to 38.0 percent from 37.2 percent and consumers’ assessment of the job market was also less favorable. Those stating jobs are “hard to get” rose to 43.8 percent, while those stating jobs are “plentiful” decreased to 5.2 percent.

Expectations of a recovery just around the corner have diminished. Americans expecting business conditions to improve in the next six months almost a full point to 16.4 percent and more expect that business conditions will worsen.

The index demonstrates that consumers are feeling what economists have just started to realize – a second recession may have begun in April of 2011. Manufacturing indices, actual jobless numbers, dismal workforce participation and declining consumer spending all point to a second recession.