Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Consumer Confidence Index Pulled Down by Unemployment
According to a recent article published by ABC News, consumer confidence has yet to respond to recent increases in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which jumped to over 11,000 last Friday for the first time since May. Instead, consumer confidence currently seems more closely related to the unemployment rate, which has been above 9 percent (it is 9.6% today) since May 2009.
Historically--as measured the past 25 years by ABC News--both the Dow (.82) and employment (.76) correlate closely with consumer confidence levels, and it is expected that the correlation between the Dow and consumer confidence will be seen once again.
Today, however, the situation is grim. The Consumer Confidence Index for the week ending October 10th stood at -45, an improvement over the previous week, which saw an Index of -47, but far from its long-term average of -13. According to the article, "91% of Americans rate the economy negatively, 72% think it's a bad time to spend money and 55% say their personal finances are hurting. These are, respectively, 29, 9 and 11 points more than their 24-year averages."
The most growth in consumer confidence has been visible among the nation's citizens earning $100,000 or more, perhaps in part because that group has large stock holdings that have seen gains in recent weeks.