NEW YORK—The consumer confidence index dived by 6.6 points, to 39.8, in the October survey conducted by The Conference Board.
Lynn Franco, director of the board’s Consumer Research Center, said the retreat took the index back to levels last seen during the 2008-2009 recession. Franco said consumers’ assessments of both current economic conditions and business conditions down the road suffered in this month’s survey.
Indeed, both component indexes of the main indicator lost significant ground. The present situation index shed seven points from its September level to finish at 26.3. The expectations index was 48.7, off 6.4 points from September.
Franco said this was the sixth consecutive month of decline for the present situation number “as pessimism about the current economic environment continues to grow.”
Plus, more consumers on a percentage basis rated current business conditions as “bad,” and fewer consumers said jobs are “plentiful” in the current economy. Consumers’ future outlook also deteriorated, with fewer consumers expecting business conditions to improve and fewer consumers anticipating more jobs at that time.