Posted on 27 Jan 2009
Confidence among U.S. consumers unexpectedly fell in January to a record low as job prospects remained dim.
The Conference Board’s index of consumer confidence fell to 37.7, from a revised 38.6 in December, the New York-based private research group said today. Records began in 1967. Measures related to Americans’ views on incomes deteriorated.
Caterpillar Inc. and Home Depot Inc. were among companies yesterday that said they will cut at least 74,000 workers from payrolls in coming months as sales drop and the recession deepens. President Barack Obama is trying to drum up support for quick passage of a stimulus plan that aims to create jobs, cut taxes and boost infrastructure spending.
“The consumer is being squeezed on so many sides,” Douglas Smith, chief economist for the Americas at Standard Chartered Bank in New York, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “We’re going to have to see some turn in the labor market before we see much upside for consumer confidence.”