Consumer Worries Sink Confidence

Fears of impending war and a bleak outlook for jobs caused the Consumer Confidence Index to fall to a nine-year low of 79.0 in January from a revised 80.7 in December, according to the Conference Board. While that data marks the seventh decline in the last eight months, the stock market actually rose on the news, since the drop was more moderate than the average forecast of 78.1.

Within the Consumer Confidence Index, The Present Situation Index, which measures consumers’ current attitudes about the economy and their finances, rose to 75.4 from a revised 69.6 in December. But The Expectations Index, tracking respondents’ feelings about their six-month outlook, fell to 81.4 from a revised 88.1. —NO’L