Consumer Confidence Drops Below Expectations

by: Roy Mehta

The Conference Board reported Tuesday its Consumer Confidence index fell for the third straight month in October. The index fell to a wrose-than-expected 95.6, down from a revised 99.5 in September. Last month's figure was the lowest level since October 2005, which was shortly after when Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast region. Economists had expected the index to fall to 98.0. "It seems to suggest that the relative strength of the stock market is no longer enough to offset the impact of the housing disaster," said Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist with High Frequency Economics. The percent of consumers who have plans to buy homes decreased to 2.7%, the lowest since November 2004. The Conference Board is a private group that collects information through 5,000 mail-in surveys. Markets dropped on the news, and finished the day down mildly.

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