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Consumers’ Confidence Looking Up

NEW YORK — Consumers were more upbeat in September than they were in August, according to the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence survey.

In general, survey respondents gave no sign that the economy will change course anytime soon.

For those consumers who plan to buy household appliances or consumer electronics products in the next six months, however, the number slipped to 27.6 percent, from 31.9 percent in August. This figure is also down from last September, when 30 percent planned to make such purchases.

Last month, 48.9 percent of survey respondents said they thought current business conditions were “good,” an increase from August’s 46.2 percent. Those rating conditions as “bad” inched up to 8.8 percent from 8.6 percent.

Respondents were more optimistic about the short-term outlook, with 18.4 percent expecting an improvement in business conditions over the next six months, up from 17.2 percent in the previous month. As for the pessimists, 5.6 percent foresaw worsening conditions in September, compared to 5.4 percent in August.

Consumers claiming that jobs were “hard to get” dropped to 10.7 percent from 11.5 percent.

The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey is based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households and is conducted by NFO Research Inc.