Consumer confidence at record low
'Glimmer of hope' seen as job views show some improvement
By Ruth Mantell
Income worries dragged down consumer confidence to a record low in January, even as depressed views on jobs showed some improvement, according to the monthly Conference Board index reported Tuesday.
The January consumer confidence index fell to 37.7 from an upwardly revised 38.6 in December. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected a January reading of 38. The data go back to 1967.
"It appears that consumers have begun the new year with the same degree of pessimism that they exhibited in the final months of 2008," said Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board's Consumer Research Center. "Consumers remain quite pessimistic about the state of the economy and about their earnings."
Consumers' view of current conditions worsened slightly in January, with those saying business conditions are "bad" rising to 47.9% from 45.8%. Consumers' short-term outlook also deteriorated, with the proportion of those expecting to add to their income falling to 10% from 12.7%.