Job Fears Eroding Confidence
By Don Hogsett -- Home Textiles Today, 9/6/2004 12:00:00 AM
New York —
Weighed down by growing anxiety about a lackluster jobs market, consumer confidence tumbled 7.1 percent during August — heading south after four straight months of solid gains — to a current reading of 98.2 from 105.7 in July, The Conference Board reported.
After climbing an impressive 19.4 percent between April and July, confidence levels reversed course and skidded in August as fears about a worsening jobs market gnawed at consumer sentiment, the business think tank reported.
Confidence declined in every region of the nation, and took down consumer buying plans as well. Consumers said that over the past few months they plan to buy fewer homes, cars, carpets and major appliances, and take fewer vacations.
“The slowdown in job growth has curbed consumers' confidence,” said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board's Consumer Research Center. “The level of consumer optimism has fallen off and caution has returned. Until the job market and pace of hiring picks up, this cautious attitude will prevail.”
Weighing in on current conditions, consumers were less upbeat than last month. Those who said business conditions are “good” declined to 23.2 percent from 25.2 percent. Correspondingly, the number who said conditions are “bad” rose to 20.1 percent from 19.1 percent.
Gauging the jobs market, the number who said jobs are “plentiful” decreased to 18.1 percent from 19.7 percent. The number who claimed jobs are “hard to get” was virtually unchanged at 25.8 percent, compared with 25.7 percent in July.
Going forward, consumers have lowered their expectations for the next six months. Those anticipating that conditions will worsen increased to 8.8 percent from 7.1 percent. The number who expect conditions to improve declined to 20.1 percent from 23 percent. As for the crucial jobs outlook, the number who said they expect fewer jobs to become available increased to 15.4 percent from 13.5 percent. And the number who expect more jobs to open up skidded to 16.2 percent from 19.5 percent.
Consumer confidence by region
|Source: The Conference Board
|East North Central||-5.9|
|West North Central||-15.2|
|East South Central||-4.9|
|West South Central||-0.2|
Consumer Buying Plans August
Plans to purchase over the next six months
|Source: The Conference Board
We would love your feedback!
Most Recent Resources
- Getting the most out of offline leads
- Free Shipping and the Importance of Onsite Promotion
- Should Branded Manufacturers Participate in Flash Sales?
- Rugs 101 - Special Edition
- How Big Is Your Label
- Choosing a Web Site Developer
- Convergence: Tie Your Online & Offline Experience...
- Social Networks to Social Shopping
- Why Brands and Their Retailers are Facebook’s Biggest...
- Web Based Intelligence Gathering
- The Future of Tablets
- Shopatron: Bicycles & eCommerce
- A Guide to Holiday eCommerce Success
- Mattress Buying 101 - Connecting with Consumers
- Designing Your Brand’s Website for eCommerce
- Global Sourcing in 2010: Doing More With Less
- Comparing Four Options for Turning Web Site Traffic into...
- Are You Prepared for the 2009 Holiday Season? A Branded...
- Design, Develop, Deliver: The Three D's to Digitally...