Janice Chamberlain

Janice Chamberlain
Confidence Nears Record Low

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index plunged again in June, and now is at the fifth-lowest reading ever. The Index is widely regarded as an accurate barometer of consumer sentiment and a predictor of economic times ahead. The Index now stands at 50.4 (1985=100), down from 58.1 in May. The Present Situation Index fell to 64.5 from 74.2 and the Expectations Index declined to 41 from 47.3 in May, a record low. Six-month buying plans for big-ticket items were off across the board. In June, 2.2 percent of consumers planned on buying a home within six months, down from 2.4 percent in May. The

Consumer Confidence At 16-Year Low

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index fell again in May, for the fifth consecutive month, this time dropping to a 16-year low. The Index now stands at 57.2 (1985=100), down from 62.8 in April. The previous low, set in October of 1992, was 54.6. Two associated indices, the Present Situation Index and the Expectations Index, also declined, to 74.4 from 81.9, and to 45.7 from 50, respectively. Also taking a hit were consumers’ plans to buy some big-ticket items, such as cars and homes. The percentage of consumers expecting to purchase an automobile in the next six months declined to 4.8 percent in May