Contradictory Consumer Confidence Surveys Issued

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Arlington, Va. - Depending upon the survey being followed, consumer confidence was either up or down for September.

According to a study released on Sept. 28 by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and CNET, consumer confidence in the economy climbed more than five points in September. Confidence in consumer electronics rose slightly, by more than one point, as well.

However, the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index for September, also issued on Sept. 28, saw confidence fall to 48.5, down from 53.2 in August. The above figure is based on the organization's measuring system where a figure of 1985 equals 100 perent. The study is based on a sample of 5,000 U.S. households and is updated monthly.

The CEA-CNET Index of Consumer Expectations (ICE) rose more than five points in September to 163.4. The ICE, which measures consumer expectations in the overall economy, has rebounded in the past two months since the index reached an all-time low of 157.3 points in July. The ICE, however, is down nearly six points from this time last year. 

Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board Consumer Research Center, said, "September's pull-back in confidence was due to less favorable business and labor market conditions, coupled with a more pessimistic short-term outlook. Overall, consumers' confidence in the state of the economy remains quite grim. And, with so few expecting conditions to improve in the near term, the pace of economic growth is not likely to pick up in the coming months."

The Conference Board also stated more people in September, 46.1 percent, believe business conditions are bad, compared with 42.3 percent in August.

The CEA/CNET study also found consumers feel more confident about technology. The CEA-CNET Index of Consumer Technology Expectations (ICTE), which measures consumer expectations about technology spending, is up 1.1 points from August. It's down two points from this time last year.

The CEA-CNET 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 and CNET have been tracking index data since January 2007.


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