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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Consumer Confidence Hits Record Monthly Low

We knew consumers were jittery. Apparently they're downright panicked.

Consumer confidence suffered its steepest monthly drop on record this month, according to a survey released today by Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumer.

The survey said its index of confidence fell to 57.5 in October from 70.3 in September, it's "largest monthly decline in the history of the surveys," the report said. The index is now at its lowest since June this year.

The prior double-digit declines were based on severe economic losses, exacerbated by consumers' fear, the report said.

The index ended up below economists' expectations for a reading of 65.5, according to the median of their forecasts in a Reuters poll. Their 64 forecasts ranged from 55.0 to 70.0.

The University of Michigan's record low of 51.7 was in May 1980. The index dates back to 1952. This time, consumers rated current economic conditions as being the worst on record.

Consumers also had a grim outlook for the future. Expectations fell to its lowest point since July, when super-high oil prices were contributing to overall pessimism.

--Kim Hart

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 17, 2008; 10:46 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  
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