Indicative of a recession, the Conference Board’s consumer confidence index dropped to 44.5 vs. last months 59.2. That represents the lowest showing of consumer sentiment since spring of 2009.
The number was heavily weighed down by a very poor showing in the forward-looking Expectations Index portion of the total score. This represents
Says Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center: “Consumer confidence deteriorated sharply in August, as consumers grew significantly more pessimistic about the short-term outlook. The index is now at its lowest level in more than two years (April 2009, 40.8). A contributing factor may have been the debt ceiling discussions since the decline in confidence was well underway before the S&P downgrade. Consumers’ assessment of current conditions, on the other hand, posted only a modest decline as employment conditions continue to suppress confidence.”
In a scathing rebuke of the current administration’s view that things are getting better, the report also shows that only 11.8 of respondents think that business conditions are going to improve over the next six months.