Why So Sad? Consumer Confidence Is Down

Hey consumers? What’s the matter? You’re losing confidence! That’s not good! The Confidence Board reported yesterday that the consumer confidence index is down to the lowest level in almost a year. The index measures how consumers feel about things like the economy and employment. In addition, new home sales dropped everywhere but the sexy, sexy Midwest (where they are up 30.8%.)
From the NYT:

The Conference Board, based in New York, said that the consumer confidence index fell almost five points, to 103.9, from a revised 108.5 in May, reaching the lowest level since August 2006, when the reading was 100.2. Analysts had expected a reading of 106.

Lynn Franco, director of the board’s Consumer Research Center, said in a statement, “A perceived softening in present-day business and employment conditions are the major reasons behind this month’s pullback in confidence.”

Another Conference Board gauge, called the present situation, which measures how shoppers feel about economic conditions, fell to 127.9, from 136.1 in May.

Still another, the expectations index, measuring shoppers’ outlook for the next six months, declined to 87.9, from 90.1.

Economists watch consumer confidence data because such retail spending accounts for a major share of United States economic activity. Retailers have had sluggish sales because of the weaker housing market and the significant rise in gasoline prices.

So, consumers, are you feeling a little shaky? Do you need a hug?

Consumer Confidence Falls; So Do Sales of New Homes [NYT]