Consumer Payment Card News

Consumer Confidence

Consumer confidence took a big hit this month due to a softening job market, rising gas prices and an unstable stock market. As a result, a monthly index fell to its lowest level in 16 months. The “RBC CASH Index” plummeted to 71.1 for September, well below last month’s 89.3 level. Expectations about job loss grew gloomier as only 49% of consumers reported that it is unlikely they or someone they know will lose their job in the next six months, down from 56% last month. Forty-five per cent of Americans reported feeling less confident about their job
security, up five points from last month. Consumers’ comfort level for making household purchases fell to 35% in September from 37% last month, and ratings of current personal finances also declined, with 27% of Americans rating their current financial situation as weak, compared to 23% in August. The “RBC Investment Index” declined almost 10 points to 88.3 this month, compared to 97.9 in August. The “Index” is composed of four sub-indices: “RBC Current Conditions Index;” “RBC Expectations Index;” “RBC Investment Index;” and “RBC Jobs Index.”

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