Wednesday, 28 October 2009

US consumer confidence falls

US consumer confidence is unexpectedly weak. From Bloomberg on Tuesday:

Confidence among U.S. consumers unexpectedly fell for a second month in October, reinforcing the views of Federal Reserve policy makers who say household spending will be restrained by rising unemployment.

The Conference Board’s confidence index dropped to 47.7, trailing the lowest economist forecast, from a revised 53.4 in September, a report from the New York-based private research group showed today. A measure of employment availability slid to a 26-year low.

Not all the day's data were negative.

The S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index covering 20 metropolitan areas climbed 1 percent from the prior month, seasonally adjusted, after a 1.2 percent increase in July, the group said today in New York.

Consumer confidence has also been unexpectedly weak in Europe. In Germany, the GfK consumer confidence index fell to 4.0 in November from 4.2 in October. In Italy, the ISAE consumer confidence index fell to 111.7 in October from 113.6 in September.

France, however, reported an improvement in consumer sentiment, the INSEE consumer confidence indicator rising to -35 in October from -36 in September.

In other positive news, UK retail sales improved in October with the Confederation of British Industry's distributive trades survey reported sales balance rising to 8, the highest reading since December 2007, from 3 in September.


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