Consumer Confidence Weak In New England, Midwest

By John S. McClenahen Consumer confidence, which has declined nationally during the last two months, has been weak in New England for much longer, indicates the Conference Board, a New York-based business research group. Indeed, its consumer confidence index for Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont fell to 77.3 in September, its lowest since October 2003, when the index was 75.5. Consumer confidence is also weak in the midwestern states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin, with the Conference Board's index for that region falling to 75.1 in September from 82.2 in August. "The index for this region is only up about four points from year-ago levels," the board notes.

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