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A monthly consumer tracking poll reveals consumer confidence gained ground in October for the fourth time in the wake of the Federal Reserve’s Chairman assertion three weeks ago that the recession is over. But, the high unemployment numbers and weak consumer spending do not a recovery make. The “RBC CASH” (Consumer Attitudes and Spending by Household) Index for October stands at 51.8, an 11.8 point increase from September’s reading. The RBC “Investment Index” increased sharply this month, climbing 21.1 points to 58.0, the highest mark for the index this year. The RBC “Current Conditions Index” also reached a twelve-month high in October as it climbed to 50.3, up 17.1 points from the September reading of 33.2. The RBC “Jobs Index” rose by 5.8 points in October to 59.3, well below the 78.8 level observed at this time one year ago. The RBC “Expectations Index” jumped to 54.2, up 12.7 points from September’s level of 41.5.

          RBC CASH INDEX
           Oct 08: 37.0
           Nov 08: 34.7
           Dec 08: 15.3
           Jan 09: 13.3
           Feb 09:  1.6
           Mar 09:  8.2
           Apr 09: 38.3
           May 09: 43.0
           Jun 09: 34.3
           Jul 09: 22.4
           Aug 09: 37.5
           Sep 09: 40.0
           Oct 09: 51.8
         Source: RBC CASH

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