No confidence

U.S. consumers’ faith in the economy hit the doldrums

Worried about ever-increasing gas prices, the struggling real estate market and the outlook on jobs? If so, you’re far from alone. The Conference Board recently released its Consumer Confidence Index and the report isn’t pretty. In fact, June’s sampling of 5,000 households indicates the nation’s consumer confidence (50.4 percent) has reached its fifth-lowest reading in the history of the study. It also slipped about 8 percent from May. Meanwhile, the Expectations Index has reached an all-time low (41.1 percent). Here are the respondents’ views during the past few months. Read ’em and weep.

ClaimMay June
Business conditions are bad29.7% 32.5%
Business conditions are good 13% 11.5%
Jobs are hard to get28.3% 30.5%
Jobs are plentiful16.1% 14.1%
Expect business conditions to worsen over the next six months32.9% 33.9%
Expect business conditions to improve over the next six months10.6% 8.8%
Expect fewer jobs in the months ahead32.3% 35.5%
Expect more jobs in the months ahead 9% 8%