Americans are ending 2009 feeling better about their futures but less than merry about the present. While The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index rose to 52.9 this month from 50.6 in November, its two components went in distinctly different directions. The Expectations Index rose to 75.6, its highest level since the 75.8 reached in December 2007, but the assessment of current conditions, known as the Present Situation Index, sank to 18.8, the lowest since its 17.5 nadir in February 1983. According to Lynn Franco, director of the group’s Consumer Research Center, "Consumers remain rather pessimisticabouttheir short-term prospects and this will likely continue to play a key role in spending decisions in early 2010." In a Q&A, marketing guru Jack Trout recommended communicating with these anxious consumers via pithy statements of what a brand represents, rather than flashy technology, a rush to social media or glib sloganeering.
"I think that all anyone really wants in life is to have people understand us for who we actually are, despite everything," says Ruth Negga. The actress talks "Preachers" season 2 and more on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: Dan Doperalski)
"That's something that resonates with me too because I'm so locked into a number. If I go over that number it completely ruins my day so it's nice to get detached from the number on the scale." - Chelsea Handler on Kelly LeVeque's book "Body Love." #wwdeye (📷: John Salangsang)