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Slow Recovery for Consumer Comfort

The Washington Post-ABC News Consumer Comfort Index (CCI) continued its slow recovery this week, edging up four points to -11. Five weeks ago the index cratered to -20. The improvement comes as consumers' views of their own personal finances has rebounded from recent lows.

In mid-August, amid wide fluctuations in the stock market and increasing troubles in the mortgage industry, consumers' ratings of the economy and their personal finances sent the CCI plunging 9 points in one week, the steepest fall since the poll began in late 1985. Now, six in 10 Americans say their own personal finances are in "excellent" or "good" shape, up 8 points from a month ago and about even with the 2007 average.

Perceptions of the national economy have rebounded as well; 36 percent rate the economy "excellent" or "good," unchanged from last week.

The CCI is a measure of consumer confidence, calculated on a scale of -100 to +100 based on responses to three core economic questions. They cover the state of the national economy, personal finances and whether it's a good time to make purchases. Ratings of the buying climate have remained relatively stable since late August.

The Post-ABC CCI is a rolling average based on telephone interviews with 1,000 randomly selected adults conducted over a four-week period which ended Sept. 23. The results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

Full question wording and results can be found here.

By Jennifer Agiesta  |  September 25, 2007; 4:39 PM ET
Categories:  Post-ABC Consumer Comfort Index  
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