New York—As if we needed further proof that the U.S. economy is tumbling: The Conference Board’s September Consumer Confidence Index dropped from 114.0 in August to 97.6 in September. The plunge is the largest monthly decrease since October 1990, when the index fell 23 points. The Board’s Present Situation Index also fell, from 144.5 in August to 125.2 in September, while the Expectations Index dropped from 93.7 to 79.2. The Conference Board surveys 5,000 U.S. households monthly. Interviews for the September survey were conducted both before and after Sept. 11.
Among other survey findings, consumers rating business conditions as favorable fell from 27.7% to to 22.0%, while the percentage of consumers complaining that jobs were hard to find rose from 16.0% to 18.5%.