Perk Up: Consumer Confidence Falls To Two Year Low

Hey there, camper! Why the long face? Bloomberg is reporting that consumer confidence is at a two year low. Does someone need a hug?

Maybe another Fed rate cut will help your self-esteem? From Bloomberg (emphasis ours):

The Conference Board’s index of consumer confidence declined to 95.6 this month from 99.5 a month earlier. It compared with the median forecast of 99 in a Bloomberg News poll. The U.S. currency reached $1.0511 per Canadian dollar, the lowest since 1960.

Home prices in 20 U.S. metropolitan areas fell 4.4 percent in the 12 months through August, the most since records began in 2001, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index released today.

The Fed cut its target rate for overnight bank loans by a half-percentage point on Sept. 18 to 4.75 percent, the first reduction since 2003, after losses from subprime mortgage investments roiled credit markets. The dollar has dropped against all 16 of the most-actively traded currencies since then, losing 3 percent against the euro.

Interest-rate futures traded on the Chicago Board of Trade show a 94 percent chance the Fed will lower its benchmark rate by a quarter-percentage point to 4.50 percent tomorrow.

Dollar Falls to Record Low After Consumer Confidence Declines [Bloomberg]
(Photo:Augapfel)

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  1. MsClear says:

    Does it seem a little strange to anyone else that they don’t calculate the cost of food and energy when figuring out the inflation rate? Even if that’s necessary, which I wouldn’t know, maybe they should take a peek at the figures of inflation for food and energy and then they would know why the consumer confidence index is a wee bit grumpy?

    Anyway, it seems to me that the USA better figure out something new to make or new service to perform, besides relying on people to purchase crap they don’t need with money they don’t have.

  2. timmus says:

    I’ve got a better idea for gauging consumer confidence. How long is the line outside Olive Garden on Friday night? And how busy is it on Saturday at Bass Pro and Best Buy? There you go… you don’t need a massive survey.

  3. bohemian says:

    Expect retailers to pee their pants about December 15th when they realize that people are not buying.

    Too many people are more worried about the declining value of their home, high food prices, high gas prices, high heating prices and tainted toys.

  4. charmaniac says:

    MSCLEAR, I never understood why they don’t take into account food and energy since they are necessities. I noticed that food prices have shot up at the grocery store. Also, there are several restaurants which raised prices in my area and some even gave “inflation” explanations for the price increases near the cash register. Obviously, gas has gotten more expensive.

  5. stinerman says:

    @MsClear:
    They don’t take into account food and energy because that would make the inflation rate look really bad.

    I don’t mind, really. High inflation and low interest rates will do wonders for my college debt.

  6. Dancing Milkcarton says:

    Oh, ‘consumer confidence survey’ – blah blah blah – what a load of horseshit. Hey, guess what kids, consumer confidence is 5% lower than it was 10 minutes ago, and 10 minutes from now it’ll be 5% higher.

    All these surveys are like watching a pot boil – well, a watched pot never…

    I just see a whole room of daytrading douchebags hitting the sell button with every dumb survey result.

  7. ogman says:

    I’m not spending any money because my taxes have gone up too much this year. No, not THOSE taxes. I mean the taxes I pay on gas, health insurance, and exorbitant interest rates on credit cards. Capital One increased interest rates on good customers to make up for sub-prime losses, if that’s not a tax then I don’t know what is.

  8. ThePopOversAreDone says:

    If they fell 4.4 percent, but in the preceding years they increased by 15%
    they’ve still increased by 11%.

  9. ThePopOversAreDone says:

    How clever do we have to be to get a thing posted? Cause I’m not real clever.

  10. BigNutty says:

    Does the average consumer actually pay any attention to these numbers? I doubt it. They go on with their lives and make decisions as they come up.

    Will I buy the off brand product to save money today or my regular brand? They may take a look at the gas prices and drive down the block to save a penny per gallon but the “consumer confidence number” means nothing to anybody but business owners and Wall Street.

  11. iamme99 says:

    Watch what happens to consumer confidence as housing values continue to crumble, foreclosures continue to rise, job hiring declines, layoff’s accelerate, all while the cost of healthcare, gas, food and apartments continues to increase.

    The recession is coming, if we are not already in it, thanks mainly to the easy money the FED made available since 2001 which encouraged poor standards in mortgage lending and a consumer credit/spending spree.

    Everyone seems to be hoping for the FED to announce the interest rate cut on Wednesday. But what few understand is that this would be bad news not good. What a cut shows is that fear is rising in the government that the economy is weakening. If they do .50%, that will indicate that the fear is even greater.

    In any case, lower interest rates will not save us. Near 0% interest rates hasn’t helped Japan for 15 years, which is still stuck in negative to low economic growth.

    I predict retailer panic and plenty of good deals this holiday season (for those who still have available cash or credit).

  12. vladthepaler says:

    Consumer confidence IN WHAT? I’m more confident that there will be at tomorrow than I am that China will stop using lead paint on toys. And what if anything does the number mean? Are consumers on average 95.6% sure that any given thing will happen?

  13. tcp100 says:

    Oh, you mean housing prices will fall back to “normal” levels as a ratio to income, down from the stratospheric prices that made everyone a Kyosaki-esque speculator and spawned shows like “flip that house?” What’s that? You got a $800,000 interest-only adjustable-rate no-money-down mortgage when you only make $50k a year? Guess what. You made a horrible, horrible decision. You deserve to be destitute. Cry me a river.

    The problem here is that nobody is going to be held accountable for the subprime mess. Banks won’t be held accountable for using horrendously risky and stupid instruments; they’ll be bailed out. Banks will even give idiots with untenable mortgages a second chance, since they don’t want to have to sell a house at foreclosure in this market.

    You aren’t SUPPOSED to make 20% on a house in a year. Everyone’s got to slow the hell down, and maybe take some lumps for some stupid decisions. Too bad those stupid decisions won’t just affect them, but everyone else, too.