Consumer confidence hit a record low in October, Bloomberg reports, raising the specter that spending will slow significantly. The Conference Board’s index dove to 38, the lowest reading since the metric’s inception in 1967, and far worse than analysts expected. With the stock markets volatile, home equity deteriorating, and job losses piling up, household wealth has been hit hard.
Analysts had only expected the reading to drop to 52. “Collapsing consumer confidence appears to be reinforcing the economic downturn, with labor market weakness poised to intensify,” said one economist; indeed, the economy lost jobs for nine consecutive months through September. The Board’s measurement of present conditions dropped to 41.9, while expectations for the next 6 months fell to 35.5, from 61.5.