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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Consumers Not Happy

The latest Consumer Confidence numbers form the Conference Board were uniformly bad.

The Conference Board reported that:

• The Consumer Confidence Index fell for the second straight month.

• Breaking that down, the Present Situation Index fell, and is at its lowest point in 26 years. The Expectations Index also declined notably from September to October.

• Consumers’ assessment of current business conditions got worse, with 47.1% saying business conditions were bad (up from 46.3% in September), and only 7.7% saying business conditions were good (down from 8.6%).

• Meanwhile, those expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months decreased to 20.8% from 21.3%, while those expecting conditions to get worse increased from 14.6% to 18.3%.

• Expectations on jobs and income worsened as well.

Perhaps it’s time for elected officials in Washington to stop pushing a policy agenda of bigger government, higher taxes and more regulation – that will only serve to restrain growth in entrepreneurship, investment, the economy and jobs – and shift gears quickly to a pro-growth agenda of broad-based and permanent tax and regulatory relief that will serve to spur the economy forward.

Raymond J. Keating
Chief Economist
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

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