chart_cci.gifConsumer confidence took a nose dive last month.

Do you guys follow the consumer confidence index? I’m sure you hear radio and TV commentators talk about it each month. But what the heck is it?

The Consumer Confidence Survey is based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households. The monthly survey is conducted for The Conference Board.

The survey gauges the mood among consumers…basically their attitude toward their own economic conditions and their plans to spend money. The spending of our money on things like Iphones and fancy vacations, not to mention the basics like clothing and food, is the engine that drives the economy. So, if we know what consumers intend to do going forward we can figure out how confident they are in the economy, thus allowing us to surmise whether the economy will expand or falter.

A bunch of different factors dictate how we feel about spending money. But I think the biggest thing is our job outlook. Are we going to get raises? Will we land that great job? Will I keep my present job or be replaced by a lower wage earner in India or within my own town?

All these contribute to whether we’re going to buy a new car or keep our fingers crossed that the old clunker keeps going another 25,000 miles.

Yes, escalating gas prices don’t help our confidence, but job security is at the top of the list. Right? What’s your take on this?

Lately I’ve been writing about how workers wages have stagnated, and some companies have actually fired high-priced workers to replace them with lower wage employees; and still others are asking workers to take as much as a 50 percent cut in pay.
Talk about doing a number on your confidence.

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