Concerned about the slowing economy and uncertain job prospects, U.S. consumers became even more pessimistic this month. The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index, plummeted to 99.6 (1985=100) in August, a 7.4 percentage point decline from July's 107.0 and the biggest one-month decline in the index since Hurricane Katrina, a year ago.
"Consumer confidence lost significant ground in August and is now at its lowest level this year," notes Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board's consumer research center. "Looking ahead, the glass remains half empty as consumers are growing increasingly more pessimistic about the short-term outlook," Franco adds.
According to Conference Bard data released August 29, consumers expecting business conditions to worsen during the next six months increased to 12.9% this month from 10.9% in July. At the same time, consumers expecting business conditions to improve slipped to 15.9% this month from 16.1% in July.
The Conference Board is a New York-based business research group, and its consumer confidence index is based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households.