Consumer Confience - Economic News

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Given that we here at the AW Blog are working on developing a professionally developed and practical fine and decorative arts confidence survey I thought I would post on the Conference Boards September Consumer Confidence Survey,  although the responses are not positive for the economy. The September figures were posted about a week ago, and given how consumer confidence and expectations can greatly impact our appraisal practices it is something we should be aware of. Unfortunately, the September figures are not strong, with confidence levels dropping from an indexed figure of 53.2 in August, to 48.5 in September. In addition to the main confidence index declining there were declines in the present index, and perhaps even worse news is the expectations index dropped from 72 to 65.4.

I wish there was better news to report, but unfortunately, that is not the case.  I know many appraisers are finding it difficult to find clients, it I believe the decline is widespread between many small and independent businesses.  I was talking with a business neighbor that is just up the street from my shop, an architect. He stated he was advertising and promoting his business with little to show in return, thinking he was doing something run, but after careful analysis  he then came to the conclusion it was not him or what he was doing, but the effects of the economy.  He is right, its not solely us as appraisers, but the state of the economy and the low levels of confidence as shown in the recent Conference Board survey.
The Conference Board states
Says Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center: “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.”
Consumers’ assessment of current conditions weakened further in September. Those saying business conditions are “bad” increased to 46.1 percent from 42.3 percent, while those claiming business conditions are “good” declined to 8.1 percent from 8.4 percent. Consumers’ appraisal of the labor market was also less favorable. Those claiming jobs are “hard to get” rose to 46.1 percent from 45.5 percent, while those stating jobs are “plentiful” decreased to 3.8 percent from 4.0 percent.
Consumers’ expectations took a turn for the worse in September. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions will worsen over the next six months rose to 16.4 percent from 13.4 percent, while those anticipating business conditions will improve declined to 14.9 percent from 16.9 percent.
Consumers are also more pessimistic about future employment prospects. Those expecting more jobs in the months ahead remained essentially unchanged at 14.5 percent in September, compared to 14.7 percent in August. However, those anticipating fewer jobs increased to 22.7 percent from 19.6 percent. The proportion of consumers expecting an increase in their incomes declined slightly to 10.2 percent from 10.6 percent.

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