Job Worries Depress US Consumers

28 October 2004

With under a week before America's presidential election, the nation is feeling less than optimistic about its future.

Latest figures released by US business researcher, The Conference Board, show consumer confidence fell in October for the third month in a row, on the back of job worries.

Says Lynn Franco, consumer research director: "Subdued expectations, as opposed to eroding present-day conditions, were the major cause behind October's decline."

The index dropped to 92.8 points, down 3.9. The worrying fact for George W Bush is that since the index started in 1967 only one incumbent president - Ronald Reagan in 1984 - has won an election with the index below 100.

Says Jared Bernstein of the Economic Policy Institute in Washington: "People are much more prone to the kind of indicators in the consumer confidence index. Things like employment growth and where they think incomes are headed, and both of them are on a solidly negative trend."

Data sourced from BBC Online; additional content by WARC staff