Consumer confidence dismal, but better

Nov. 24, 2009 at 12:06 PM

NEW YORK, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- U.S. consumer confidence rose in November but still shows a very negative mindset among shoppers, the Conference Board said Tuesday.

After a slight decline a month ago, the Consumer Confidence Index rose to 49.5 from 48.7, said the Conference Board, which uses 1985 as a base year with a value of 100.

Despite the rise, "income expectations remain very pessimistic and consumers are entering the holiday season in a very frugal mood," said Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board Research Center.

The monthly index is based on interviews with 5,000 consumer. The results showed consumers view the economy as half empty, rather than half full, Franco said.

"The moderate improvement in the short-term outlook was the result of a decrease in the percent of consumers expecting business and labor market conditions to worsen, as opposed to an increase in the percent of consumers expecting conditions to improve," Franco said.

In the survey, respondents indicating business conditions were "bad" fell from 46.7 percent to 45.7 percent. Those indicating conditions were "good" increased from 7.8 percent to 8.1 percent.

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