« back to Today's Commentary

More Like Consumer 'No Confidence'
-- October 30, 2001


Last week's University of Michigan survey indicated that consumer sentiment had edged up slightly in the weeks following the September 11 attacks. However, its September numbers had already reached an eight-year low. Thus, the October numbers, despite their slight improvement, were still dismal.

Today's Conference Board survey confirms this. Consumer confidence is in the dumps. Consumer confidence levels reached a 7 -year low in October, according to the Conference Board's index, reflecting the full impact of the September 11th terrorist attacks and subsequent bio-terrorism scares.

And there isn't any reason to believe that consumer confidence, which is considered a factor in driving consumer spending, will rebound at all in the months ahead. Nearly every day consumers hear new announcements of major layoffs. Plus, there is the continued fear of additional terrorist attacks on US soil. These concerns are likely to discourage many Americans from spending. And without a spark in consumer spending, which fuels two-thirds of the nation's economic growth, the US economy isn't likely to rebound anytime soon.

This recession is going to last much longer than most analysts have predicted. And things could get much worse before they get better.

related article: Consumer Confidence Hits 7-Year Low