retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Conference Board is out with its monthly assessment of consumer confidence, which it says has fallen to its lowest level in seven months "as Americans grew more pessimistic about business conditions and their personal finances, though the overall outlook suggests slow but steady economic expansion across the US," the Wall Street Journal writes. "The group’s index of consumer confidence declined to 92.2 this month from a revised 97.8 in January. Measures of consumers’ outlook on current and future conditions both dropped."

The Journal notes that "consumer sentiment has been broadly solid for more than a year. A number above 90 is generally considered a good reading." But the fact that the stock market has been volatile in recent weeks seems to have created concerns about the economy, and many Americans seem expect Wall Street's "wild ride" to continue.
KC's View:
There's no question that the economy is a lot more volatile than we'd all like it to be. There's also no question that we are in a political moment in which votes can be generated by provocative rather than calming voices, and so I'd expect that consumer confidence is likely to be unsettled for at least the next nine months or so. (I also think that when these nine months are over we're all going to feel like we need a shower ... but that's another issue.)