Consumer Confidence Down Again

January 28, 2003

Consumer Confidence Down Again

Consumer confidence fell for the second straight month in January, down to 79 from a revised 80.7 in December, the Conference Board reported Jan 28. It did not fall as far as predicted, however. Analysts had expected a drop to 78.5 in the economic index.

"Overall readings continue to reflect the country's lackluster economic activity," says Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board's Consumer Research Center. "With the threat of war looming, consumers have grown increasingly cautious about the short-term outlook."

Confidence has been in decline since May 2002, though there was a slight uptick in November. January's index reflects lowered consumer expectations regarding improvements in the job market and pessismism about income growth.

The Conference Board also says consumer expectations for the next six months are also lower. The consumer confidence index is based on a monthly survey of about 5,000 U.S. households.

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