Consumer Confidence Dropping
Two polls released today show falling numbers in consumer confidence. In a poll conducted Jan. 19, 20 and 22, an overwhelming 82 percent of respondents answered “worse” to a Gallup poll question asking whether they think the economy is getting better or worse. According to Gallup, “There is no sign from…Tuesday night interviewing that Tuesday’s dramatic Federal Reserve Board interest-rate cut makes any difference in these views.”
Gallup has been asking the same question in overlapping three-day periods since Jan. 2, and the numbers have been getting steadily less optimistic since then. The current “getting worse” number is 9 points higher than it was in early January; from the Jan. 2-4 responses, the “worse” score was 73 percent and “better” was 20. The margin of error for this poll is ‘2 percentage points.
Gallup isn’t the only poll to recognize a discernible pattern of falling consumer confidence. The Rasmussen Consumer Index, which measures the economic confidence of consumers on a daily basis, fell three points today to 85.4. It’s the lowest score in nearly five years and only two points above the all-time low since Rasmussen began measuring consumer confidence in October 2001. The Index has fallen 8 times in 2008, dropping 14 points since Jan. 1. Over the past year, the Index is down thirty-four points in all. The baseline was set in Oct. 2001 at 100.0, so today’s score indicates lower consumer confidence than in the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11. The all-time low was reached March 11, 2003 at 83.2.