Did you hear that? It was the sound of consumer confidence making a beeline for the floor.
The Associated Press reports today that confidence about the U.S. economy plummeted unexpectedly this month as job prospects continued looking dismal. That reading comes from The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index, which registered at 47.7 in October — the second-lowest level since May.
Forecasters predicted a higher reading of 53, according to the Associated Press. (They tell us that a reading above 90 means the economy is on solid footing, and a reading above 100 signals strong growth.)
Low consumer confidence doesn’t bode well for the holiday season, which was already looking pretty gloomy. If the job market actually worsens, people won’t be spending much this December — the month that can make or break some retailers.
“Consumers also remain quite pessimistic about their future earnings, a sentiment that will likely constrain spending during the holidays,” Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board’s Consumer Research Center, told the Associated Press.