Conference Board’s Sentiment Index Declined More Than Expected To 48.5

Posted By on September 28, 2010

The Conference Board’s sentiment index declined to 48.5 this month, lower than the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News and the weakest level since February, according to figures from the New York-based private research group today. In another report home prices cooled, hurt by a slump in sales following the end of a government tax incentive.

Household purchases, which account for about 70 percent of the world’s largest economy, may be constrained by a jobless rate this is projected to average more than 9 percent through 2011. 

The Conference Board’s measures of present conditions and expectations for the next six months both dropped, today’s report showed. Fewer respondents thought more jobs would become available and the share of those who expected incomes to rise fell to the lowest since February.

There is reason for consumers to worry about jobs. U.S. chief executive officers turned less optimistic in the third quarter as fewer projected sales and hiring will improve, a survey showed. The Business Roundtable’s economic outlook index fell for the first time since the beginning of 2009.

“The pace of recovery in output and employment has slowed in recent months,” Federal Reserve policy makers said in their statement last week after meeting on interest rates. “Household spending is increasing gradually, but remains constrained by high unemployment, modest income growth, lower housing wealth, and tight credit.”

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