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Post-ABC CCI: Gas prices take their toll

As gas prices climbed to a new high, negative perceptions of the national economy and the buying climate kept the Washington Post-ABC News Consumer Comfort Index (CCI) on its roller-coaster ride. This week the index dropped to -7, matching its low for the year, after showing a slight increase over the past two weeks.

This increase was largely driven by Americans' positive assessment of their own finances, but was washed out by the lowest ratings of the state of the national economy and of the buying climate since October 2006.

Americans' negative evaluations of the current state of the economy extend to pessimism about the direction in which the economy is moving. For the first time since September 2006, a majority of Americans said the nation's economy is getting worse; 14 percent said it is getting better.

Gas prices, which have been linked to perceptions of the buying climate and to the CCI in the past, reached a record high this week, averaging $3.10 per gallon according to the Department of Energy.

The Post-ABC CCI is based on a combination of opinions on the state of the national economy, whether or not it is a good time to make purchases, and personal financial situation. This week's score of -7 is above the long-term average of -9 in weekly polls since 1985.

More information on the Washington Post-ABC News Consumer Comfort Index can be found here.

By Jennifer Agiesta  |  May 15, 2007; 5:10 PM ET
Categories:  Post-ABC Consumer Comfort Index  
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