Consumer confidence takes a spill


RBC CASH Index., a regular measure of consumer attitudes towards the economy, took a plunge, dropping from January’s reading of 58.3 all the way down to 39.4, a loss of 18.9 points. The baseline is 100, reflecting conditions at the time of the survey’s introduction in January 2002. CASH stands for Consumer Attitudes and Spending by Household.

“Although numerous economic indicators are trending in a favorable direction, it’s evident that ‘less-bad’ is just not good enough for U.S. consumers,” said RBC Capital Markets U.S. economist Tom Porcelli. “This month’s reading suggests that consumers continue to feel financial pressure from recent volatility in stocks and a soft job market.”

There are four prongs to the survey, and all were down.

Confidence in current conditions plummeted from 51.6 to 30.5.

Future confidence decreased from 67.6 to 48.0.

Investment confidence dropped from 58.1 to 40.8.

Job confidence suffered the least, but it too went down in double-digit numbers, from 67.9 to 54.9.