Consumer Confidence Index drops

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The Consumer Confidence Index fell to an all-time low in December after increasing moderately in November, according to a report released today by The Conference Board.

“The further erosion of the Consumer Confidence Index reflects the rapid and steep deterioration of economic conditions that occurred in the fourth quarter of 2008,” said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board’s Consumer Research Center, in a statement.

“The overall economic outlook remains quite dismal for the first half of 2009, and only a modest recovery is expected in the second half,” she added.

The Consumer Confidence Index now stands at 38, down from 44.7 in November.

The Present Situation Index dropped to 29.4 from 42.3 last month. It is now close to levels last seen in the months following the 1990-91 recession, but is not as low as levels during the 1981-82 recession, according to Franco.

The Expectations Index decreased to 43.8 from 46.2 in November. Franco said declines in this index appear to be moderating, but the index continues to hover at historical lows.

“Both subindexes bear careful watching over the next several months to see if they are starting to show signs of approaching a bottom,” Franco said.

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