Consumer Confidence Finds a New Low in January

Conference Board's index at half its year-ago value
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 27, 2009 10:43 AM CST
In this Dec. 24, 2008 file photo, a shopper walks out of a store advertising discounts up to 70% at Cherry Creek Mall in Denver.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, file)
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(Newser) – Americans' mood about the economy darkened even more in January, sending a widely watched barometer of consumer sentiment to yet another new low as people worry about their jobs and watch their retirement funds dwindle. The Conference Board said its Consumer Confidence Index edged down to 37.7 from a revised 38.6 in December, lower than the reading of 39 that economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected.

In recent months the index has hit its lowest troughs since it began in 1967, and is hovering at less than half its level of January 2007, when it was 87.3. "It appears that consumers have begun the New Year with the same degree of pessimism that they exhibited in the final months of 2008," the director of the Conference Board Consumer Research Center said.