News & Resources

Bloomberg: Consumer confidence lowest since Q1 2009

Oct 17, 2011 Philip Burgess

Consumer confidence reached its lowest point in more than two years last quarter, according to the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index. The lull is reflective of mounting economic uncertainty and an unwillingness among Americans to spend money or incur debt. The index averaged a reading of minus 48.4 for the third quarter, marking the third worst reading in its history and weakest since the first quarter of 2009, when it reached minus 49.9. Tellingly, 92 percent of surveyed consumers had a negative opinion on the state of the economy. Bloomberg pointed to an abysmal housing market, stagnant payrolls and a volatile stock market as impacting Americans' ability to spend. "A weak labor market and sagging incomes continue to place stress on households," said Joseph Brusuelas, a senior economist at Bloomberg. "Higher headline prices and stagnant incomes will likely provide further downward pressure on consumer sentiment." A separate consumer confidence survey by RBC showed consumer sentiment declined in September compared to the previous month. These findings, among others, indicate continued woes for business sales, employment and debt collection practices.