News Byte: Consumer Confidence Falters Further in November

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Consumers: I'll be broke for Christmas.
Consumers: I'll be broke for Christmas.

Forget Black Friday; think Black Holiday.

After a government shutdown-influenced plunge of nine points in October, the Consumer Confidence Index dropped almost another full point to 70.4 in November, reported the Conference board, which tracks the metric that often foreshadows purchase behavior.

The Conference Board's Present Situation Index, an indication of immediate consumer sentiment, fell nearly half a point to 72 of a possible 100, boding ill for retailers during their most crucial revenue generation season.

"Sentiment regarding current conditions was mixed, with consumers saying the job market had strengthened, while economic conditions had slowed,” says Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “When looking ahead six months, consumers expressed greater concern about future job and earning prospects, but remain neutral about economic conditions. All in all, with such uncertainly prevailing, this could be a challenging holiday season for retailers."

Only 19.9% of consumers said they thought business conditions were good, while 25.2% were of the opinion they were bad. Just 23% said they thought the business climate was worsening when surveyed last month.

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