Post-ABC CCI: Stable, But Far Below Average
The Washington Post-ABC News Consumer Comfort Index (CCI) stabilized this week at -19 following last week's nine-point plummet.
The CCI -- calculated on a scale of -100 to +100 -- now stands 11 points lower than one month ago, and 12 points below its average for the year.
Last week's drop came amid a steady stream of negative housing news and a volatile stock market, prompting a decline in ratings of the national economy. In late July, 42 percent rated the country's economy positively, now only about a third see it that way.
Consumers' perceptions of the economy now match their pessimistic take on the buying climate, which has remained at or below its long-term average since gas prices began their steep ascent in the spring.
The CCI combines perceptions of the national economy, buying climate and personal finances.
On the third measure, Americans are divided. Although Census figures released today show that the nation's poverty rate declined for the first time in a decade, about half of Americans currently rate their own financial situation negatively.
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