BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC NEWS
 You are in: Business
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Market Data 
Economy 
Companies 
E-Commerce 
Your Money 
Business Basics 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 


Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

SERVICES 
Tuesday, 30 October, 2001, 15:46 GMT
US consumer confidence plunges
Wal Mart storefront
America's shops struggle to attract custom
Confidence among US consumers has fallen to its lowest level since February 1994, as Americans digest the economic fall-out from last month's terror attacks.

The October consumer confidence index - compiled by the Conference Board, a US research firm - slumped to 85.5 points from 97 points in September.

"The economic outlook is becoming increasingly pessimistic, with consumer sentiment continuing to fall," said Conference Board consumer analyst Lynn Franco.

The fall, which was more acute than expected, had an immediate effect on already-depressed markets.

Markets wobble

London's FTSE 100 share index, which had earlier clawed back some of its morning losses, fell back below the 5,000 mark.

And the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the main US share index, dropped more than 180 points to below 9,100.

October's plunge confirmed fears that the weak performance of the US retail sector could prove more than a short-lived phenomenon.

A string of US retailers have released dismal results in the past few days, and hopes of a pick-up in trade before the vital Christmas season are now fading.

Gloomier and gloomier

Analysts seized upon the fact that America's gloom is deepening, not lightening, as the 11 September attacks recede.

"It's an ominous kind of report," said Dana Johnson, managing director and head of research at Banc One Capital Markets in Chicago.

"Obviously people are feeling worse and worse about their economic prospects in reaction to a lot of layoffs as well as to ongoing terrorist threats."

"The key going forward from here is what happens in the job market," said Tim O'Neill, chief economist at Bank of Montreal/Harris Bank.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Patrick O'Connell in New York
"The US consumer is being tugged in two directions"

Terror's impact

Signs of a slowdown

Rate cuts

Analysis

Key players

FULL SPECIAL REPORT
See also:

30 Oct 01 | Business
World markets wobble
12 Oct 01 | Business
US retail sales plunge
10 Oct 01 | Business
Blame it on Bin Laden
25 Sep 01 | Business
Why consumer confidence matters
11 Oct 01 | Business
Gap sales slump
09 Oct 01 | Business
Survey says Americans fearful
14 Aug 01 | Business
US retail figures beat forecasts
25 Sep 01 | Business
Business gurus warn of US recession
27 Sep 01 | Business
US joblessness at nine year high
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Business stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Business stories