That’s how many months consumer confidence in the economy has declined, according to new poll results, signaling the renewed threat of COVID-19 may restrain household spending.
The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index fell again in September, the research group said Tuesday, marking the weakest reading since February and defying some economists’ expectations for a rebound.
The survey used for the index measures how people feel about the present and future prospects of the economy and their own finances, and also asks about their plans for major purchases in the near future. It details buying intentions, vacation plans and consumer expectations for inflation, stock prices and interest rates.
“These back-to-back declines suggest consumers have grown more cautious and are likely to curtail spending going forward,” the Conference Board, a non-partisan not-for-profit economics researcher, wrote in a report citing the delta variant of COVID-19 for dampening enthusiasm.
There was at least one bright spot in September’s survey: the share of consumers who view the volume of jobs as plentiful inched up to a record high of 55.9% (surpassing the previous record in 2000) from 55.6% in August. The increase helps bolster arguments that disappointing August job growth shouldn’t discourage those looking for work.
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