Amid the rapidly deepening recession and the outlook for the next six months which is "quite dismal," the Conference Board said on Dec. 30 that U.S. consumer confidence plunged to a historic low.
The Conference Board index tumbled to 38% in December from 44.7% in November due to the deteriorating economic conditions in the fourth quarter. The present situation index "is now close to levels last seen in the months following the 1990-91 recession, but is not as low as levels reached during the 1981-82 recession" when unemployment was high, Lynn Franco, research director at the Conference Board, said.
The expectations index, the other sub-index, slid to 43.8 from 46.2 in November, but was sharply higher than the 35.7 October reading.
"Both sub-indexes bear careful watching over the next several months to see if they are starting to show signs of approaching a bottom," Franco said. "In the meantime, however, the overall economic outlook remains quite dismal for the first half of 2009, and only a modest recovery is expected in the second half."
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008