CONSUMER CONFIDENCE STILL UP IN SPITE OF DECLINE IN FEBRUARY
WASHINGTON--Although consumer confidence declined in February for the second consecutive month, it still remains at a high level, according to the Conference Board. The board's index of confidence in February dipped to 99 from January's 101.1. Nevertheless, the latest measurement is well above the February 1994 index of 79.9. "Historically, whenever the confidence index has been around the 100 level, where it is now, the pace of economic activity has been lively. The latest readings signal promising economic developments ahead," said Fabian Linden, executive director of the board's Consumer Research Center. According to the survey, there was a slight decrease in February in the number of consumers who view business conditions as good, but likewise there was a dip among those who view conditions as bad. Slightly more respondents view jobs as "hard to get," as opposed to being "plentiful." Regarding income, the index, based on a survey of 5,000 U.S. households, showed a slight strengthening in the number of people who anticipate their incomes will increase. Plans to buy big-ticket items, however, were mixed, with fewer people anticipating they will buy a home or car and more respondents planning to purchase appliances.
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