New York City The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index reported another decline for February.
The Index now stands at 25.0 (based on 100.0 points), down from 37.4 in January. The results stem from consumers' appraisal of overall current conditions. What they originally reported as bleak in January, has worsened.
For example, 51.1% of consumers reported that business conditions are "bad.” This is an increase from 47.9% last month. Consumers also had a more gloomy assessment of the labor market in February. Those who believe jobs are "hard to get" increased to 47.8% from 41.1% in January. There were 4.4% of consumers who reported that jobs are "plentiful." However, this was a sharp decline from 7.1% last month.
The number of consumers who expect business conditions to worsen over the next six months increased to 40.5% from 31.1%, while those expecting conditions to improve declined to 8.7% from 12.8% in January.
The employment outlook was also much grimmer. The percentage of consumers expecting fewer jobs in the months ahead increased to 47.3% from 36.9%. Those who expect more jobs to become available declined to 7.1% from 9.1%. The proportion of consumers expecting an increase in their incomes declined to 7.6% from 10.3% last month.
"The Consumer Confidence Index, which was relatively flat in January, reached yet another all-time low in February,” said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center.
The decline, which was driven by worsening business conditions and a rapidly deteriorating job market, suggests that overall economic conditions have weakened even further this quarter, the study said.
“Not only do consumers feel overall economic conditions have grown more dire, but just as disconcerting, they anticipate no improvement in conditions over the next six months," Franco reported.
The Consumer Confidence Survey is based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households. The monthly survey is conducted for The Conference Board by research firm TNS.