Tuesday, June 24, 2008

June Consumer Confidence


Today’s press release by The Conference Board (http://www.conference-board.org/economics/ConsumerConfidence.cfm) began as follows:

“The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had declined in May, declined even further in June. The Index now stands at 50.4 (1985=100), down from 58.1 in May………

“Says Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center: "This month's Consumer Confidence Index is the fifth lowest reading ever. Consumers' assessment of present-day conditions continues to grow more negative and suggests the economy remains stuck in low gear. Looking ahead, consumers' economic outlook is so bleak that the Expectations Index has reached a new all-time low. Perhaps the silver lining to this otherwise dismal report is that Consumer Confidence may be nearing a bottom."
If you update the chart with the number 50, you can see that it won’t take much to put the chart in record-low territory.

Consumer Confidence

(Click on chart to enlarge)

Recessions shaded

The Conference Board believes consumer confidence “…… may be nearing a bottom.”

Aside from the fact that the index has a finite distance to fall before hitting zero, there’s little ground for optimism. If gasoline prices and unemployment and inflation stop rising and home prices and the stock market start rising, folks will begin feeling better. But how likely is that going to happen any time soon?

(The chart was taken from http://www.beyourowneconomist.com. [Click on Seminars and then Charts.] Go there for additional charts on the economy and a list of Economic Indicators.)

© 2008 Michael B. Lehmann

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