The Consumer Comfort Index is registering its biggest drop ever. From Reuters:
NEW YORK, Aug 21 (Reuters) – A confluence of negative factors struck a blow to the confidence of American consumers in the latest week, with a weekly survey registering its biggest decline ever.
The ABC News/Washington Post Consumer Comfort Index tanked to -20 in the latest week from -11 in the previous period. It was the first time the index fell 9 points in a week since it was launched in 1985.
The measure ranges from -100 to +100 and its 2007 average is -7.
“The decline is broadly based among population groups, and there seems not to be a single negative event to blame, but a confluence,” the news outlets said in a statement.
They blamed “the stock market’s fall, troubled housing and credit markets, the (Federal Reserve’s) expressions of concern about an economic downturn, the cumulative effect of high gasoline prices during the summer driving months and a public broadly dispirited over the course of national events, driven by the unpopular war in Iraq.” [full text]