West South Central region

Some good news: The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index improved slightly in November, up 6.1 points to 44.9. The flip side is that there was nowhere to go but up, since the index hit a record low of 38.8 in October (1985=100).

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index, which had improved slightly in July, gained five points in August, finishing the month at 56.9 points (1985=100). The Present Situation Index declined to 63.2 from 65.8 last month and the Expectations Index increased to 52.8 from 42.7 in July, marking a six-month high. The number of consumers citing current business conditions as “bad,” grew to 33.2 percent from 32.6 percent last month, as the number appraising conditions as “good” inched up to 13.4 percent from 13.2 percent. Just under 26 percent of consumers thought business conditions would be worse in six months, down significantly from 32.4

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

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