NEW YORK (AP) - A private research group says consumer
confidence hit an all-time low in December, dropping unexpectedly
in the face of layoffs and deteriorating markets for housing,
stocks and other investments.
The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index fell to 38 in
December, from a revised 44.7 in November. Economists surveyed by
Thomson Reuters had expected the index to rise incrementally to 45.
The separate Present Situation index, which measures how
respondents feel about business conditions and employment
prospects, fell to 29.4 in December from 42.3 in November. It is
now close to levels last seen after the 1990 to 1991 recession.