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CONSUMER CONFIDENCE DOWN AGAIN

 CONSUMER CONFIDENCE DOWN AGAIN
 NEW YORK, Jan. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumer confidence, which leveled


off in December after registering sharp declines in the preceding two months, lost some ground again in January. The current Consumer Confidence Index (1985 equal 100) reading is 50.4, a loss of some two points for the month (last month's revised figure was 52.5), the Conference Board reports today.
 The survey, covering a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households, is conducted for the board by National Family Opinion, Inc. of Toledo, Ohio.
 Concerning current business conditions, only 6.4 percent of all respondents in January say they are "good;" 51 percent say they are "bad." Both these figures are more negative than in the preceding month. Regarding the availability of jobs, only 5 percent say they are "plentiful;" 47 percent say that they are "hard to get." These figures are not quite as weak as a month earlier.
 In their expectations for the future, people are somewhat more pessimistic now than in the closing weeks of last year. Less than 19 percent of respondents believe that business conditions will be "better" in the next six months, while 20 percent fear that they will be "worse." Regarding future jobs, only 13 percent now expect there will be more opportunities in six months.
 "The public continues to be uneasy about present conditions and uncertain about the future," says Fabian Linden, executive director of the Conference Board's Consumer Research Center. "Clearly, before there is any significant recovery, there must be a marked improvement in consumers' spirits and their willingness to spend."
 As the recession continues, an increasingly large number of households are experiencing hardship. About one out of four report someone in their household experienced an episode of unemployment over the past twelve months. The average duration was roughly six months. Of those who are back in a new job, 45 percent are earning less than they had in their previous position; 20 percent are earning more. An estimated two-fifths of all households deferred making a major purchase in recent months because of the weak economy. When economic conditions begin to improve, we can expect this pent-up demand to come to market, providing additional thrust to the recovery.
 -0- 1/28/92
 /CONTACT: Fabian Linden of Conference Board, 212-339-0303, or 212-831-3007/ CO: The Conference Board ST: New York IN: SU:


SM-OS -- NY002 -- 4120 01/28/92 09:59 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 28, 1992
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