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CEA: Consumer Confidence In Economy Hits All-Time Low

9/27/2011 11:36:26 AM Eastern
Arlington, Va. - Consumer sentiment in the overall economy is at its lowest point in the history of the CEA Indexes, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

Consumer confidence in technology spending also fell in September.

For the fifth consecutive month, consumer confidence in the overall economy has dropped, now to its lowest level in the history of the CEA Indexes, which began tracking in January 2007.

In September the CEA Index of Consumer Expectations (ICE) fell to 156.8, down two points from last month and 6.5 points lower than this time last year.

"Sentiment took another step down in September as deep drops in equity prices stymied any hope of a return of consumer optimism," said Shawn DuBravac, CEA's chief economist and research director. "The ensuing European debt crisis and the news of additional quantitative easing have consumers mired in uncertainty."

Consumer confidence in technology also fell in September. After strong gains last month, the CEA Index of Consumer Technology Expectations (ICTE), which measures consumer expectations about technology spending, dropped 2.5 points this month to 81.9. The ICTE is at its lowest level since May 2011, but remains up a point from this time last year.

"CEA's proprietary sentiment indicators have been very consistent and accurate this year, predicting a decline in the economy well in advance of other metrics," said DuBravac. 

"Consumer sentiment has fallen throughout the year as the economic picture has weakened, but a dichotomy continues to exist between consumer sentiment and consumer behavior. While consumers continue to lower their household debt levels and avoid making some large purchases, retail sales and consumer spending have held up. Some segments of consumer tech, like tablet computing, continue to garner consumer dollars."

The CEA Indexes comprise the ICE and ICTE, both of which are updated on a monthly basis through consumer surveys. New data is released on the fourth Tuesday of each month. CEA has been tracking index data since January 2007. To find current and past indexes, charts, methodology and future release dates, log on to http://ceaindexes.org.
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