July 1st, 2009
05:49 PM ET

What caused steep drop in consumer confidence?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

When it comes to the 18-month-long recession, we're not out of the woods quite yet. Consumer confidence took an unexpected and steep drop in the month of June.

This is a big deal because consumer spending makes up more than two-thirds of our economy. And it means Americans don't feel so optimistic about their current financial situation or about what's to come.

Some think the rising price of gasoline is part of the reason for this decline, with consumers feeling pinched at the pump once again.

One expert tells Reuters that the confidence data "kind of took the wind out of things a little bit." Investors had been expecting consumer confidence to hold steady this month - following big jumps in April and May. For months, we've been seeing economic data that suggests the recession isn't getting worse; but investors want to see signs that the economy is actually growing.

Meanwhile the unemployment rate - which is already at a 25-year high of 9.4 percent - is expected to increase again for the month of June. And perhaps reach 10-percent later this year. If that's the case, it seems unlikely consumer spending will pick up significantly any time soon.

Here’s my question to you: What caused an unexpected, steep drop in consumer confidence?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Mark from Arkansas writes:
Jack, Come out of your ivory tower and go walk the streets. See the unemployed workers, see the restaurants that are closing up, see the small businesses that are laying off people, see the retailers closing shops. Look around. How many "confident consumers" do you really see?

Ben writes:
The fact that people are starting to realize the only thing Obama is good at is talking and spending money.

Geoff writes:
I had confidence until May when I was laid off. Now I'm struggling to pay my rent and bills. No other companies in my industry are hiring in Southern California. So my confidence fell off a cliff and I'm not sure when it will come back.

Alyssa writes:
The reason why consumer confidence has dropped so much is because people are starting to value other things besides buying. They're spending time with their families or planning for their futures. I know I ask myself if I really need something or if the money could instead be put in my savings account.

Mike from Spring, Texas writes:
The constant 24-hour bombardment of negative news has caused the consumer to reduce spending. Why not report on the 91% of Americans with jobs, and not obsess on the 9% without?

David from San Diego writes:
Duh, rising gasoline prices? Consumer sentiment is fickle. It will go up and down before a clear change for the positive takes hold. Not to worry, help is on the way!

Melissa writes:
It's summer. People realized that they still don't have the money to go on vacation because they had extremely unrealistic expectations of what the stimulus from both Bush and Obama would do for them. That’s bound to be a bummer for anyone.

William writes:
To put it kindly, the economy is still in the toilet.

Filed under: Economy
soundoff (211 Responses)
  1. Rick Medina,OH


    On Sunday, I spent $1.50 on the local newspaper. There was a time, when the 'Employment' section was over 20 pages deep. The other day, it was only six. That makes you think twice about what you buy at the grocery store.

    Rick, Medina, OH

    July 1, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  2. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    How about so many businesses returning to the arrogant ways of old?

    July 1, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  3. Nancy, Grand Ledge,MI

    The continued rise of unemployment. It's hard to be confident when you don't have a job. The stimulus is going into state coffers, and state governments are as bogged down with bickering as the federal government. The money that is being put to use creates a few state jobs, while at the same time they are eliminating other jobs due to decreased tax revenue. Nothing is being done to stimulate manufacturing, which is the backbone of our economy. We are sorely lacking backbone in this country, especially in Washington.

    July 1, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  4. Charles, Lansing, MI

    When the public is required to spend a couple of trillion dollars to bail out the so called "free market system", we should expect a lack of confidence. We have been heading down the road of corporate welfare ever since the Ragaen administration and now all that is left is government control.

    July 1, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  5. Conor in Chicago

    Probably some report doctored and published by an entity that stands to profit from a lack of consumer confidence.

    July 1, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  6. David of Alexandria VA

    LIke the stock market, people are hypersentsitive to economic news and a lot of volatility in opinion should be expected. In the past month, we saw unemployment slow but not reverse, the price of oil sprint past $65, and other indicators which may not say something bad as much as they do not say something good. People are looking for a little good news.

    July 1, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  7. Kerry Diehl

    Obama's Presidency and policies

    July 1, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  8. Lisa, Ashford, Alabama

    A steep drop in consumer confidence seems to have been caused by a steep drop in corporate confidence.

    July 1, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  9. jenny in romega

    Prices may have fallen but when you do not know day to ay whether you will have yoyr job, you simply do not buy.

    July 1, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  10. John Webster, Aldergrove BC Canada

    It’s like this Jack, when people see just what shenanigans are being perpetrated with the bail out money given to the exceeding greedy rich bankers, who wouldn’t be distrustful in the purveyors of credit, commodities and such? None of those bail out billions came with warranties to protect the taxpayers so many aren’t buying in to the supposed recovery.

    July 1, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  11. Martin in Shoreline, WA

    The insane spending spree that Democrats have launched. Democrats will start being removed from office beginning next year. They will never get it through their thick skulls. They give $50 million to the National Endowment for the Arts, and call it a drop in the bucket. They do not understand that Americans do not think we should be subsidizing artists at all, and could care less if it is a drop in the ocean. When you add it to all of the other pointless and useless spending, you have a vast sea.

    July 1, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  12. Sandra in San Diego

    The economy is not getting any better anytime soon in California. Our state is bankrupt and sending out IOU's. We can't go out and spend, the Democrats aren't finished digging in our pockets for our last dime yet. Can't spend what you don't have!

    July 1, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  13. Tina Tx

    People are afraid of the unknown and knowing that if they keep continue to spend like a drunken sailor that the good life they knew would soon be gone and they don't like living in a box on the streets.

    July 1, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  14. Jim from Chicago

    It's simple, Jack. The constant drumbeat of doubt from the right regarding jobs, health care and the stability of the banking system (at the same time clueless credit card executives are boosting interest rates) is scaring people. Average Americans, especially older folks, are not sophisticated enough to break through what are lies and what is truth. So, they hold onto their money while looking for things to somehow get better.

    July 1, 2009 at 1:42 pm |

    lack of money

    July 1, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  16. Jane

    Not seeing the job loss pattern improve much. When people aren't sure if their jobs will be there (or have lost them already) – they aren't going to spend on anything except necessities!!! It's as simple as that

    July 1, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  17. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    When people are concerned whether or not they will have a job in the immediate future, it tends to shake their confidence just a bit. Duh.

    July 1, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  18. Jimmy

    There is no improvement in the economy, despite the record spending by the Democrats. Their empty words telling us the economy is showing glimmers of hope, don't translate to jobs or more money in our pockets. We all know all this out of control spending will result in higher taxes and new taxes. Middle class will become the new poverty level before they are finished with us.

    July 1, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  19. Jean B

    Stimulus is not working, 450 Billion of 787 B is waste ! Obama lies through his teeth everytime he opens his mouth.
    Watch for the tax increases that will bring a real uprising as we've never seen before.
    Jean B

    July 1, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  20. Jenna

    What caused an unexpected, steep drop in consumer confidence?

    More Americans losing their jobs, the credit card companies raising interest rates and closing accounts on consumers without warning, interest rates rising, very few sales.. Take your pick..

    Roseville CA

    July 1, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  21. bob z, from pa.

    the way obama is try to push these bills through if that is change what are we in for,

    July 1, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  22. Denny from Tacoma, WA

    Downright fear of the present and the future. America no longer trusts its legistative body to do the right thing and represent them instead of themselves.

    July 1, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  23. Russ in Johnston, IA

    One word, Jack – WASHINGTON!

    July 1, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  24. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    People today wake up not knowing if they will have a job to go to or not. Companies that you go up with as a child that you believed to be so big and powerful that they would never go bankrupt, go bankrupt. When you know the only reason and we're not in a depression is be cause Wall Street was bailout. The value of your home and the equity in it is declining for the first time in your life. With all of these things happening at once how can anyone have confidence in today's economy.

    July 1, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  25. Sue in LA

    Didn't realize it ever went up again!! There are no jobs and nobody is hiring. Many of the lucky people who still have jobs are working less hours AND taking 10% pay cuts California is bankrupt and people can't afford the taxes that were recently imposed on us and they are still looking for more.

    July 1, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  26. Melissa

    Its summer. People realized that they still don't have the money to go on vacation because they had extremely unrealistic expectations of what the stimulus from both Bush and Obama would do for them. Thats bound to be a bummer for anyone.

    July 1, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  27. Terry from North Carolina

    Did I miss something ? Did the economy get better? Did the unemployment numbers go from double didget to single didget ? Did the price of gas go down to $2.00, can I go food shopping without dipping into my 401K which is almost gone ? What consumer confidence ? Have you been on vacation on a little island with no communication ?

    July 1, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  28. Larry, Ohio

    Jack,this is an easy one.Look at the Presidents economic policies,there you will most certainly find the answers.No one ever has confidence in Socialism!Yes,President Bush started the fire,but it is President Obama who has poured gasoline on it!!!

    July 1, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  29. Pugas-AZ

    Unemployment rate, stockmart fluxuations, tepid view of world economics, threat of higher taxes, etc., etc. Rowing upstream appears to be getting us knowhere and people are getting tired of rowing faster. They are saving their energy for the long haul.

    July 1, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  30. John from Alabama

    Jack: When eight of this nation's banks need money to stay afloat, and Wall Steet drops from a high 14,000 points in 2007 to 6500 points in late 2008 is a good reason for a lack of consumer confidence. The greed of the bonus slugs at Merrill Lynch, and AIG needs 180 billion dollars because it is so big. Give the consumer a break, or the consumer will not spend. Many of the consumers have lost billions of dollars out of their 401K's, and are hoping to see a turn around by the end of 2010.

    July 1, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  31. Terry, Chandler AZ

    That question can be summed up in a single word: impatience. Americans are impatient. When things fail to happen as quickly as we feel they should occur we have a propensity to over react.

    July 1, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  32. Mark

    Hi Jack,
    Consumer confidence is down because we see a lot of spending that hasn't helped yet and the constant threat of higher costs with goods and services as well as the probability that our taxes will go up. We as citizens are concerned that we are headed in the wrong direction. We do not have much faith in our government.


    Mark in St. Louis

    July 1, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  33. JW in Atlanta

    Energy, joblessness, upcoming inflation to compensate for monetary expansion, infighting at the highest levels of decision making, ridiculous reports of big shot Wall Street types giving themselves fat bonuses on the backs of tax payers, and people getting off scott free after nearly ruining our financial system. There are plenty of reasons in the aggregate convincing thoughtful Americans that the end is not yet in sight. There are still plenty of economic scoundrals besides Madoff out there, and we best get to filling the jails with them, otherwise regular people are NEVER going to be "confident".

    July 1, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  34. Steve Venarchick

    Well, let's take a moment to recount the sucking sounds of the economy.

    1. The Fed is printing money like nobody's business
    2. Record deficits
    3. Layoffs continue
    4. California is now issuing IOU'S
    5. China that is holding our debt will soon say " All in"
    6. No confidence in our elected leaders
    7. Housing Prices continue to fall
    8. Most states are nearly bankrupt.

    So you can give all the speeches you want, but when there is no perfromance, the sucking sound continues.

    Steve in Minesota

    July 1, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  35. Brian Riback - Waldwick, NJ


    If our government itself can't be run properly, how can the people living under it have any confidence? My father would tell me about living in the 60's...even getting gas was an experience. Now, most companies stink and pretty much because they see that they can be lazy and still get help from our government. Customer Service is in India, everything is made in China...when they talk about American industry...what exactly are they implying? Our industry is gone because our government gave it away.

    July 1, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  36. Randy from Salt Lake City

    Well, could it be that we're no longer "consumers?" Instead, we're the laid-off "person" who can no longer be a "consumer" because in order to consume, one must have a lot funds in order to purchase crap that isn't needed.

    July 1, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  37. Simon/Orlando

    I think it's the realization that the stimulis package hasn't slowed rising unemployment. I'm guessing that most people haven't personally heard of any jobs being created by all the money that has been spent. I also don't thnk that anybody is buying into the ultimate success of the auto bailout in saving Chrysler and GM. Nobody can really put a finger on what they are going to dramatically change about their businesses that will completely turn them around. A lack of confidence in the economic future of the country at this point is very understandable.

    July 1, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  38. Roy Reed

    I think it's all the coverage of Michael Jackson's death. Americans are both depressed and glued to their TV's. Both of which is bad for the economy.

    July 1, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  39. Storm

    How about unemployment? Not having a job really lowers my consumer confidence. People don't tend to spend money when they don't have it.

    Fennville, MI

    July 1, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  40. william fitzwater

    To put it kindly the economy is still in the toilet.

    July 1, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  41. Jeff in Glen Carbon IL

    SHORT MEMORY! Doesn't anyone (including the press) have a memory? Everyone, including Republicans and Economics professors said in November that it would take 18 months before the turn and that it would get worse (5 percentage points worse in Unemployment) before it turned around regardless of any "stimulus" which was designed to (a) shore up the financial industry and (b) allay fears that the supply side could drive the demand driven portion of economy.

    July 1, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  42. alex

    These days who knows The economy is not recovering fast enough for some people, companies are still struggling, and there seems to be no end in sight. .

    July 1, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  43. K

    It might have something to do with the fact that our jobs continue to be outsourced, our lawmakers seem to forget about the laws on the book re: immigration and turn a blind eye while courting votes. the conintuing loss of American jobs and that the persons who helped create this economic disaster are still in their jobs/taking huge bonuses/laying off the working person.

    July 1, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  44. Michael, Alexandria, VA

    That's an easy one – gas prices are up and banks and credit card issuers are raising rates and payment requirements while not issuing new credit. Those folks who will soon be underwater when their adjustable rate mortgages reset don't see relief coming and pay raises are few and far between.

    In other words, people are less liquid, so they are holding back on spending, which makes it harder for business to do anything to increase wages. If folks got a $1000 windfall they could at least get some breathing room on credit cards and start the process back to solvency. $13 a week doesn't help much in that department.

    July 1, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  45. Marlene

    No job, no job, no job!!! It's hard to spend money when unemployment is 16%. At least eight other states are in double digets with unemployment. When the jobs come back, so will spending and consumer confidence. Marlene in Mich

    July 1, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  46. Mark... Voorhees, New Jersey

    Simply put, the Democrats have started to behave like the Republicans. They care more about not being thought to be wrong than doing what is right. And we, the people, with the lessons of the past eight years. realize that if we don't make big changes to the way things are done; if we have the same people in charge and according to the same rules, there is no reason to have confidence in the economy or anything else.

    July 1, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  47. Greg Mechanicsburg, PA

    If you haven't noticed, there have been several nasty items puling at our purse-strings. The price of gasoline is steadily creeping upward. We consumers never saw relief from the price increases linked to the last price spike and we are not happy about that. Unemployment has hurt many of our friends and looms increasingly large over our own heads. The propaganda and purposeful sabotage from the "no" party is wearing away our patience regarding the stimulus package. Too much has been spent for there to be so little effect noticed. We need help and we want it now, not two years from now.

    July 1, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  48. perry jones

    It could be things like the cap and trade bill maybe the possible out look of the government running our health care there could be a shift dew to the promises of real change that would help all of us and all we are seeing is the possibility of the unseen taxes going up dew to the greed of the congressional leaders
    Just a few thoughts
    Perry Jones Council Bluffs Iowa

    July 1, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  49. Sherri--Illinois

    Unemployment Jack! Americans are losing their jobs by the thousands and no one's job is secure in the next few mos or so. We are not seeing any progress with the jobless numbers decreasing substanially and the economy is still in the toilet and will be for some time according to President Obama! So if people have no jobs, they aren't going to spend and if they don't spend then the economy remains stagnated. Consumer confidence??? whats that Jack!

    July 1, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  50. Keith - Twinsburg, Ohio

    For me, Jack, it's the fact that Congress is not only making our laws, they are running the Financial Industry, the Auto Industry, and all the time able to take vacations, junkets, and the like.

    They can do it all, and blindfolded too. (And they usually are!!!)

    Anyone else scared besides me???

    July 1, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  51. David in San Diego

    Duh–rising gasoline prices????? Consumer sentiment is fickle. It will go up and down before a clear change for the positive takes hold. Not to worry–help is on the way!!

    July 1, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  52. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: Enocomic Uncertainity-

    July 1, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  53. Rob from New York

    Jack, the thing that scares me most is the idea that propping up the fatcats is going to dig us out of this hole. The reason the public has lost confidence is because we as a nation are talking big, but that's all. Our economy is 70% consumer driven, right? That means until Main Street starts to feel relief, we've solved nothing. Let us eat cake...

    July 1, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  54. Remo .............. Beautiful downtown Austin, Texas

    I think everyone calmed down from the knee jerk reaction to Wall Street's fall and looked at the "Bail-out" numbers and realized that we perhaps have stuck our collective necks out even further. The Bail-out is unproven and has many, many, flaw's as well as demonstrated loop holes that the Banking Industry is already exploiting. I for one, am holding tight as much as possible to see if this thing works or if it was an "Obama Jama" tactic to make the populas think that the gamble would work.

    July 1, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  55. Ted in Portland OR

    Uuhhh maybe it's the millions of people out of work and no prospect of when they will return. This slow economy was predicted to last 2-3 years by all the "experts". it's really only been 8 months or so. Then again, few of those guys are out of work....

    July 1, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  56. Miguel E. from San Leandro, CA

    Basically this is an indictment toward corporate America. A statement that those who are financial leaders have let us down and that we can't trust the financial and stock markets. To think some people want to privatize social security is disturbing. The financial markets are institutional gambling and social security is meant as a safety valve.

    What we don't need is another bubble growth like housing was after the dot-com. We need real growth, but sensible growth. Less greed and more growth.

    July 1, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  57. Don

    It's simple Jack, we dont make a viable product anymore. Our gross domestic product is raw materials used by other countries. We import "everything" except weapons... we export those.

    July 1, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  58. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Easy, people have figured out that our President is an empty suit reading a teleprompter who lacks the experience and skills needed to help them.

    July 1, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  59. john ........ marlton, nj

    Unexpected to whom, Barrack “Robin Hood” Obama and his merry mates in the Sherwood Forest of Washington? We had a major credit crisis, meaning the guys with money stopped loaning to the people without money. Instead of resolving the problem, Obama and his posse seized the moment, fueled by the politics of envy blamed rich guys for loaning money to people who lied about there ability to pay it back, and proceeded to out spend every administration in history COMBINED under some economic guise more resembling socialism than any legitimate stimulus program. Bottom line, still have a credit crisis, buried in debt, and leaders of our country talking about green spouts ??

    July 1, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  60. Phil-Eastern Washington

    Don't think it was "unexpected", but put simply, the beginning of summer resulting in the expected increase in the price of fuel.

    July 1, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  61. Mattie

    I think people are looking at a quick fix Jack. After the Republican
    party made the economy laxed in letting companies do what they want and not make laws for them to go by to keep this country from going down, we know are having to start from the bottom up and it is going to take some time. See Jack, we as Americans got so big with spending the surplus that Clinton left that now we want everything back like it was. But we have to wait!!

    July 1, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  62. Darren

    The 'Made in China' label doesn't carry the significance it once did?

    July 1, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  63. frankie

    Republican negativity

    July 1, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  64. stephen blesofsky

    People have started to realize just how bad things were allowed to get, that the crisis is global, how much more will need to be done to mitigate and hopefully overcome this crisis, that the stimulus mainly prevented a deeper depression and ( I HOPE) that people are going to have to change how they live.

    Steve Blesofsky
    Sun City Center, Fl

    July 1, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  65. Jeff Crocket

    The wild socialist spending and control spree run by the Democrats!!
    Freedom is fading fast, and so too the Constitution!

    Jeff Crocket in New Britain, CT

    July 1, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  66. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    People have been listening to the Republicans complaining that everything is costing too much, and on top of the not improving job situation, they're getting more worried about their future. People need to give President Omaba time to fix the mess we're in and realize that it isn't going to get better over night. He inherited a huge disaster and people need to stop believing the Republicans slant on everything. Things will get better if we don't panic and buy into the oppositions dire predictions of impending doom!

    July 1, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  67. Linda in Bisbee, AZ

    Maybe the stimulus money has been spent by now, all $250 of it. I don't know. Who can speak for Amurica?

    July 1, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  68. Ralph Nelson

    Lack of spending money. Realization the recovery well be long and slow. The President's lack of urgency. Republicans blocking the peoples legislation in the Senate. Realization war with Iran is more likely following the election fraud there. Ralph, Yakima, WA.

    July 1, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  69. Mark Stephens

    Consumer confidence is subjective and all about perception. For weeks the Republicans have been slamming the stimulus package as a failure. They have taken over the economic news cycle while our President is focused on Iran, Pakistan and Iraq. The White House has not done a good job of defending the economy. They need to remind us that the stimulus plan was not supposed to be effective for up to a year. The economic forecast is improving and the recession is ending. This good news is twisted by Republicans to portray the stimulus as a failure because it is not necessary. My company just had a layoff. My wife's company just had a layoff. The recession may be ending but recovery is still months away. The stimulus package is needed for recovery and will ensure that recovery gets underway sooner. Six months from now when we should be evaluating the stimulus plan (just our President promised) we will be cheering it.

    Tampa, Florida

    July 1, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  70. Terry in Virginia

    Continuing layoffs are causing a ripple effect throughout the economy. Where are the jobs? If someone isn't laid off, he probably knows someone who is. Employees are afraid they are next, so they hold onto the money they have rather than splurge on anything. If the government says 10% of the work force is out of work, most of us know that doesn't include friends or neighbors who've been unemployed for so long that they've given up and have fallen off unemployment rolls. The real figure is much higher, but how much higher we don't know. Many of us are scared because it doesn't look like things are going to change any time soon. Now is not the time to spend on non-essentials.

    July 1, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  71. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Things are not turning around as fast as people thought they would. Still to many people out of work and the bunch of jerks we elected to congress are all in the back pockets of the lobbyist and looking out for themselves only and to hell with the people that elected them.

    July 1, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  72. Dee in sunny Florida

    Gee, let's see.

    Can it be the economy is in the toilet?

    Can it be that people are uneasy about getting into another full-blown war in Afghanistan?

    Can it be that we see Congress acting like a bunch of kids on the playground instead of working TOGETHER to try getting our country back on track?

    Can it be the failing of the American auto industry?

    Can it be record unemployment numbers?

    Can it be that many of us are sepnding our savings like water, just to survive, and are plenty scared to think about what will happen when we are out of money? Can it be that none of us expect the government to send us a bailout check!

    Can it possibly be because the King of Pop is dead, shattering all our dreams?

    Take your pick!

    July 1, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  73. Richard Sternagel,Canfield,Ohio

    How about unemployment,lack of healthcare, home foreclosures,and an unwillingness of the Banks to extend credit. All these contribute to a national pyschological Depression. It's as if no one believes in the American Dream any more.

    July 1, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  74. Alan - Buxton, Maine

    The realization that things are really no better than they were and we are trillions of dollars deeper in debt.

    July 1, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  75. Scott Stodden

    Former President George W. Bush thats my answer, he forgot about the economy and the country as whole for a war in Iraq that we should never have gotten into in the first place. Hopefully sooner rather than later President Obama will help raise consumer's confidence again, and I beleive he will do that and is doing that with healthcare.

    Scott Stodden (Freeport, IL)

    July 1, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  76. Tom Mytoocents Fort Lauderdale Florida


    1.They passed the tarp and nothing happened
    2.They passed the talp and nothing happened
    3. They bailed out AIG and the greed masters gave out bonuses Nothing happened
    4 They bailed out GM/Crysler and nothing happened
    5 They passed the Stimulus and nothing happened
    6. Now the spin is nothing happened but it could be worse if the government didn't act swftly. This means shut up and be greatful for the lesser degree of failure.

    What world do we live in where corporate pirates waving those college educations proclaiming the best and brightest mandate that due to their failures they are entitiled to million dollar bonuses or they will move to Europe. Europe is not that stupid Jack

    July 1, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  77. Anthony....Swedesboro, NJ

    States are sinking and instituting more ways to drain our wallets. As these new "tax" laws are being passed and they try to figure out new ways to disguise them, the public is on to the trick. When it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a new tax!

    July 1, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  78. HD in Phoenix

    Perhaps people have begun to realize that we are simply in a small calm between 2 really bad economic storms as a result of 8 years of destructive GOP policies. If you happen to be a rich wealthy GOP elitest like the Bush's and Cheney's then this is not even an issue that impacts your life. However, the rest of us are subject to the whims of these robber barons in the oil industry as well as other private sectors that have Congress and the President in their greedy pockets.

    HD in Phoenix, AZ

    July 1, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  79. Missy M

    Well Jack, perhaps having a federal government that doesn't know when to butt out and let the economy fix itself has a little something to do with consumer confidence. My grandmother always said "too many cooks in the kitchen spoils the soup" and that is definitely the case with our economy.

    Missy M. Arizona

    July 1, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  80. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Jack, how about an unexpected steep rise in consumer costs?

    July 1, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  81. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    The answer is looming socialism. There is no future to believe in anymore.

    July 1, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  82. Jason, Koloa, HI

    The steep drop was caused by consumers opening up their wallets and realizing there was no money inside.

    July 1, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  83. Katiec Pekin, IL

    The constant turmoil within our political parties certainly is not helping. We are diluged daily with fear mongering, accusations,
    negativity and politics as usual.
    Until we can get ALL politicians to put us and our country first,
    we wil be faced with unrest. You would think that in times of our
    greatest needs they would want to do what is right but evidently

    July 1, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  84. Chris D.

    The free market is acting so timid these days......they are afraid of the future.......and most pundits out there, are still talking down the economy.....It's good to be realistic, but we must be optimist also.

    July 1, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  85. pat

    the news media manipulating the news and beating us to death with it.

    July 1, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  86. ben stockton, calif

    i knew this would eventually happen.. now, how to deal with it..shoppers are shopping smarter,, not buying at pricy ,high end stores and just living from payday to payday..here in calif we will soon start paying our bills with IOU'S.. MAY BE THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM..maybe a little bit of the prolonged ressescion will wake up people to be more fiscally responsible..there are a lot of things we can do without and cut out impulse buying..a good start is to start buying only products made in USA..just have to look for them..we need our jobs here in america ben

    July 1, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  87. Stewart, Santa Fe, NM

    Another 600K lost jobs for May with more to come for many months ahead?

    July 1, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  88. Benny from Eaton,Indiana

    Continued unemployment..No jobs no confidence.

    July 1, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  89. Mari, Salt Lake City, Utah

    The media, Jack. The media likes to keep the negative news up front and center, and people are naive.

    My confidence level is not down, I am hopeful that President Obama is doing the best he can, given the Bush Disaster he is dealing with!

    July 1, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  90. Ikram

    The best way to approach any human being, any group or any country with showing even handedness . Be fair and do not always try to dictate. Advise them with how to improve the standard of living? if you think it will help the humanity. Each person, a group or a country should be supporting in the fields of education ,science and technowlogy not supporting with arms to kill each other. Evil minded always try to divide and rule over a weak one. Everybody should know by now do good and expect good do bad and expect bad..

    July 1, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  91. Chad from Los Angeles

    Rising gas prices again for no real reason except that it is summer!

    July 1, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  92. Jim/NC

    President Obama's spending is in the stratoshpere. Spending will likely ruin him like no other president in history. The president is showing many weaknesses in foreign policy. Not to mention health care and cap and tax. Of course we cannot leave out Gitmo...very troubling for him. Independents will sadly have the last laugh as we all lose our shirts. In addition, our president is racking up the Pinochio's when it comes to campaign promises. The aforementioned plays a giganic role in our confidence in Obama and the manner in which we spend...no confidence.

    July 1, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  93. David in Natchez

    When the stock market made its rebound little effect could be seen on main street. Profits are now made by cutting jobs and that trend isn't going to change soon. The big boys still want their million dollar bonuses and have no intention of giving them up even if America goes down the drain.

    July 1, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  94. Carla, Wyoming

    When the extreme greed of CEOs surfaced

    July 1, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  95. Simpliticus

    Disposable income is tight! Oil costs are probably the centermost issue of concern to most families and it appears that oil prices are a hedge to stock market upticks. However, the truth be told, nobody likes to say that oil prices are still being affected by speculators who take their earnings from the stock market and force oil upward in cost! The United Staes of America is 95% insolvent. Oil prices going up will not provide any impetus in bringing about future uplifts to this economy, however untruthful Wall Street is.

    July 1, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  96. Thom Richer

    Perhaps the continuation of the Bush Agenda. Continued and shameful padering to the wealthy and corporate America. Continued and increasing neglect of the middle and lower class workers of America. Ever rising unemployment. Non-livable wages. Corporate welfare. Ever increasing awareness and affirmation of bias and bigotry. Continued evidence of immoral and unethical behavior of elected government officials. Unethical corporate business practices. Higher and more insidious taxation by Federal, State and Local governments. Unkept promises of the last two White Houses. Reckless and unaccountable wars by an inept and corrupt administration and the continuation of such policy. Perhaps even more reasons.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    July 1, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  97. Stephanie from AZ

    Well, have you been to the gas station lately? How about the grocery store or a department store? Better yet, have you been by the unemployment office? If you are making larger purchases, have you tried to contact the company (that is most likely going out of business) to update warranty info or get that 'big" rebate you were promised? When you spend a dollar and only get 5 cents of product and 95 cents tax, why waste your time and hard earned money.

    July 1, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  98. Bruce

    Uhhh, a crappy economy? Realization that the criminal banksters are still robbing us? A crappy economy? No jobs and no tearing up of NAFTA? Continuation of Bush policies? Did I mention a crappy economy?

    July 1, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  99. Charles in Lawrence, NJ

    People now realize that their wealth rests on a house of cards at the casino of Wall Street. Even the best investment vehicles are a Ponzi scheme when they can’t cover all their obligations without taxpayer bailouts. Gas prices may skyrocket soon along with unemployment and possible foreign wars, people are in survival mode and learning austerity.

    July 1, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  100. Michael McDowell from Ft. Hood Texas

    Well lets see Jack……a do nothing Congress bought and paid for by special interests, high unemployment and lack of fair income incentives, the dissolution of the middle class, the collapse of ethics and morals in business, a future void of promise and hope, are probably good starters for those answers.

    July 1, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  101. Nena in MS

    The results of GREED! Everything was skimmed off the top and nothing was left at the bottom.

    July 1, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  102. Chuck in Sheboygan, WI.

    In the immortal words of a past president, "it's the economy, stupid."

    July 1, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  103. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Jack, how about an unexpected steep rise in consumer costs?

    July 1, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  104. Michael, Kansas City, Missouri

    Simple: (1) Finding that the dollar doesn't buy as much as it once did just a few short months ago; (2) Finding that our tax money only bails out the rich and shameless; and, (3) Finding out that we have to take pay cuts in order to keep a job that no longer provides enough money to support ourselves. That about does it!

    July 1, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  105. Ken in NC

    Jack have you ever herd of the Pittsburg Pirates or the Pittsburg Steelers? Well we have them in New York too but they are called The Wall Street Steelers and Pirates.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  106. Mark in Arkansas

    Jack... Come out of your ivory tower and go walk the streets. See the unemployed workers, see the restaurants that are closing up. See the small businesses that are laying off people. See the retailers closing shop. Look around. How many "confident consumers" do you really see?

    July 1, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  107. Jackie Rawlings

    Jack people will do what they want and President Obama said things would go up and down for a while. Now as things improve I notice how Republicans aren't saying anything. But Krugman is now seen as not as smart as he thought he was as all his advice was proven wrong.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  108. Jorge

    Two words: gas prices.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  109. JohnC, Orlando, FL

    Two words Jack: GAS PRICES !!

    July 1, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  110. Carter Buekema Jacksonville, Fl

    The facts.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  111. Alyssa

    The reason why consumer confidence has dropped so much is because people are starting to value other things besides buying. They're spending time with their families or planning for their futures. I know I ask myself if I really need something or if the money could instead be put in my savings account.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  112. Ben

    The fact that people are starting to realize the only thing Obama is good at is talking and spending money.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  113. Bernadette Loesch

    Dear Jack, This one is easy. Most people in the middle income bracket now have lots of company from the formerly rich. Most Americans have been painfully aware that their money doesn't get them what it used to and the number of foreclosures are tremendously high to boot.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  114. Peter M

    What a ridiculous question. The reason the investors are surprised is because they still expect the gullible, excessive spending even after most Americans have realized it is important to save, and only spend on what you need!!!! The days of excessive greed and ostentatious consumption are gone for ever. Investors had better clue in now...

    July 1, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  115. l j zim

    Just one word Jack.... the word is OBAMA

    If you can't see what coming, you are blind...

    July 1, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  116. Chris from MD

    Time after time, those who don't agree with the politics and/or presentation of Obama's plans have come out to denounce plans and discourage consumers. In an economy which can falter at the slightest bit of ill news, it seems the prediction that Cheney and others on the right "want to see Obama fail" is manifesting itself. Why does Obama need to stay in the public eye, friendly , and charismatic? Sorry Bill Marr, but Obama has a bigger fight than simply policy. There's a growing segment of the country who wants to watch him stumble.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  117. David from PA

    Jack, how about a combination of rising gas prices and a complete lack of confidence in the idiots who run congress.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  118. Geoff

    I had confidence in May until I was laid off. Now I'm struggling to pay my rent and bills. No other companies in my industry are hiring in Southern California. So my confidence fell off a cliff and I'm not sure when it will come back.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  119. Troy Turney


    July 1, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  120. JT in OH

    I will tell you what did it for me. I was able to pay all of my bills given my income. Just two days ago, however, Chase bank, a bank I have been a customer of for over a decade and never missed a payment or made a late payment to, told me that they are raising the minimum payment I must make from 2% to 5%. Guess what – these were low interest rates supposed to remain fixed for the life of the loan. They managed to be unable to raise my rates but they have now assured I cannot pay them back. So now I can no longer afford to pay my minimum payment and I guess I will need to ruin my good credit rating and default. Gee, I wonder why consumers feel so down. Just when things were looking up for me, too.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  121. Annie, Atlanta

    First we found out we didn’t need ¾ of the crap we were buying. Then it finally dawned on us that Congress doesn’t represent our interests, just their own. It came a little too late, but we now know it’s each man/woman for him/herself. Not the kind of atmosphere that breeds confidence.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  122. ole l brandal


    July 1, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  123. Tony IL

    Can we say the rise in gas prices, the still climbing unemployment, and the fact that the Obama stimulus isn't moving fast enough. Mostly, people haven't really seen any positive changes in their lives. It could also be the Obama homeymoon is over and people are realizing that things haven't gotten better.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  124. Dennis

    Just the facts, Jack. The fact that the stock market is up but so are people's credit card bills and cost of living. The fact that more americans are losing their jobs everyday. The fact that there are for sale signs everywhere. You can throw numbers at us telling us things are getting better but when we look around we do not see it.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  125. shomari

    When everyone realized it was business as usual in Washington.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  126. Mitch Fleitz

    It's simple. Rich people keeping their money & poor people not having any. Mostly speculators, give me just 15 minutes and I'll elaborate! I'm a average everyday American

    July 1, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  127. bruce mccoy

    I think most people believe the govt needs to do something, but it's taking so long to do anything meaningful, and that whatever it is will be so huge that the delay or risk that anything good might happen are increasing.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  128. Patricia

    What scares me is the greedy way all the banks are holding onto and grasping for money, like they never got a huge bailout. Guess the CEOs left the others insecure.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  129. Andrew Nims

    Unemployment is still increasing. Who would feel confident with such a statistic? No one knows who will lose their job next. High unemployment equals a weak consumer dependant economy.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  130. Edyth from Brandon, Fla.

    In my opinion, the steep drop's attributable to several factors: unofficial unemployment around 18%; no ability to get loans for cars, etc. because of the banks; higher bills and taxes passed on to the middle class, etc. The middle class, if not dead, is dying; can another Honduras be far behind?

    July 1, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  131. randy

    Crackpot socialist policies. Need I say more?

    July 1, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  132. Deborah

    Duh! Jack, we've lost confidence when we lost our jobs. It doesn't seem like rocket science to me.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  133. Alton Smith

    The economist have been putting out the news Obama wants and the people have not had true confidence since 2007. We know times are hard and we are saving, making wise choices with our spendin, and cutting back. We know its going to last longer than Obama and his economist are telling us.

    The Treasury keep creating money out of thin air and we are not only broke as individuals but also as acountry. Other countries know this. We are not buying China's products, they wont buy our T-Bills and so our Dollar is getting weak. We are all going down the drain together, some more aware than others.

    Alton, Atlanta GA

    July 1, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  134. Trina

    The GOP, true to their nature, like to play the boogy man card. Also predicting that all will not go well. That's all they have. Instead of trying to help the current administration, they sit on the side lines and throw tomatoes. As a citizen I'm tired of hearing politicians do only what is best for them or their party and not what is best for the country. It's time for the GOP to shut up and get to work.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  135. Tessa

    Familys are finding it hard to pay for food and basic neccessities. No one is spending money because they have none to spend to begin with.

    Boca Raton, FL

    July 1, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  136. Bonnie Frazier

    I, for one, won't be spending on anything but necessities since Capital One raised my interest on my credit card debt from 9.9% to over 18%. My credit card payment went up over $100/month to cover interest. Any expendable income I had will go to pay down that debt. What kind of consumer confidence can anyone expect when the credit card companies are gouging us on interest?

    July 1, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  137. Chandler T.

    Whan will someone get a clue? One thing matters, one thing only. The supply of jobs at all levels in this country has been demolished, and there is nothing on the horizon to replace them.

    Wind farms? Turbines will be made in China, the installation done by illegals, and networks managed out of India. Low bid wins.

    Jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs. Make good jobs available, and all the other problems will be solved. Fail to supply jobs, and the resession will go on forever.

    Ted51, Rockaway, NJ

    July 1, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  138. Jay

    The sudden drop in confidence is a direct correlation to the media. Typical people feel the way that the media portrays other people to feel. The quoted rise in confidence a month ago spurred spending because the media tells people that other people are confident. What's ridiculous is that the media drives these things and only focuses on negative news. Watch negative things all day and you feel negative, and the reverse applies too.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  139. Paul Edemu

    The media hype of a gloomy and unprecedented global recession coupled with random job lay-offs could be said to be responsible for the steep drop in consumer confidence.

    Paul Edemu, Warri, Nigeria

    July 1, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  140. Connie Pennington

    The reason Consumer Confidence is slipping, is because we have a President who is moving TOO fast, has no experience, and signing bills that are not helping.

    I , for one, have cut everywhere I can think of, and I am a single woman. I can't imagine what is happening to those who have families to support.

    Last, but not least, it is the older workers, over 40 , who have paid the tab for years, not the young generation, OR those who have lived on government programs and not paid one dime in taxes.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  141. Eric Bracke

    Simple Jack, the Congress is talking about another stimulus we can't pay for, they're talking about national health care which means my taxes will go up, they are on the verge of passing an outrageous energy bill which will increase my daily costs, and of course, gas prices are on the rise again.
    Yes, this is change we can believe in!

    July 1, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  142. Tom in Iowa

    I can tell you one reason for the drop in consumer confidence. The temporary unemployment stimulus checks that were going to those receiving unemployment ran out for in the middle of June. Those who received an extra 13 weeks of benefits now have no money coming in and if they have not found employment, no job. I know because I am one of those unemployed Americans with no job and now no money coming in. I am just hanging on by my teeth and I have no idea what is next. Wishing me luck will not even help.

    Tom in Iowa

    July 1, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  143. B & N in Florida

    "Consumer confidence"...isn't that an oxi-morron in this economic environmemt?

    July 1, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  144. Tony

    I believe that people are realizing that all the money poured into the economy by the govt represents only a fraction of the problem. Ceo's are still getting bonuses, fuel prises are on the rise and no one know's why. Now the healthcare battle is on. I can about guarantee that my healthcare that I pay tax free will get taxed, so I can again pay for those who don't have any. I'm really sick and tired of all the spending and "sharing the wealth"! Everyone- wait till the tax hikes come down the pipe to attempt to pay off the defecit and govt spending!!! We are in for a shock when the smoke clears. County taxes will increase, city taxes will follow! My healthcare is working fine the way it is, and I work hard to provide for MY family, not others who continue to suck the system dry on welfare, etc. Enough is enough.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  145. lampton

    how's about that paulson dude, who was supposed to be incharge of the treasurery, n our pz Bush, telling us on TV "our banks are strong" mere weeks before the bail out. Were you CONFIDENT when the Secretary of Treasury said the economy was strong? i bet he couldn't count change at mcdonalds.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  146. Suzanne

    Everything has gone up in price. I'm paying more at the pump, grocery store, and my credit card interest rate went up, not because I missed a payment or was late, but rather because they have lost money. Then you have the bad news everyday that the unemployment is expected to rise to 10% by the end of the year. Geez, I'm surprised we even get out of bed in the morning!

    July 1, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  147. Dwight

    Jack, it's simple. Just seeing how the Whitehouse is throwing away the money left and right is sickening. More government involvement is not the answer. Looking at how the Whitehouse wants to continue with this national health plan, I wish they would fix the problems we have with the VA (I knoiw because I am a vet) first.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  148. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    Consumers are being cautious and only buying necessities,no more impulse buys. Many are preparing to send their children back to school and will wait to purchase "Back to School supplies" in August. Things that can be done without will be. Until the banks stabilize,housing improves,foreclosures end,and unemployment drops off,people will hold on to their money. In short – they are afraid.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  149. Jonathan Sadler

    The American consumer's confidence has slipped for many reasons, but the one that has the biggest impact is the current MacroEconomic environment in the US. US corporations have been given incentives to move middle-class jobs overseas directly impacting the ability for the American consumer to afford the things they want. Until this changes, corporations will continue to participate in the game of economic Jenga, eliminating the middle class until the whole economy falls over.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  150. Ali Bazzi

    I think it's fairly simple: things are not getting any better and people can see that. The middle class, historically and traditionally the backbone of the economy, continues to get wiped out by several hundred thousands every month. The number of unemployed people is so high it's hard to imagine anyone who hasn't been touched by the massive layoffs, directly or undirectly. As a result, those who are still employed are so worried about their job prospects they're not spending any money. As for the unemployed, you don't need to tell you about their nonexistent buying power. They simply have no money to spend.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  151. Kevin

    Seeing the Government bail out AIG, GM, and the banks without any taxpayer relief doesnt bolster my confidence that the Government knows what it is doing. The bailout allowed the banks to correct their balance sheets without loosening credit. Other everyday resources are rising- oil and energy to wit. My state is broke and Sacramento is fiddling while Rome burns. I have paid my bills, took a mortgage that I could afford and had to validate my income. I look with disgust at the irresponsible (Corporations and individuals) getting assistance and I have to put up with a reduced equity in my home. The government should have injected the stimulus bailout at the taxpayer level instead of the corporate one. The taxpayer is a critical component to the economy. Now ask me again as to why I have no confidence in the economy...
    Murrieta, CA

    July 1, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  152. Jean

    Clearly, the drop in consumer confidence was triggered by the fact that, despite all the economic, political, diplomatic and international turmoil in our midst, the round-the-clock navel-gazing media coverage of the Fawcett/Jackson celebrity deaths reveals we haven't learned anything from our recent struggles. We're still obsessed with the meaningless at the expense of the meaningful.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  153. Mary C. Taylor

    The drop in spending by consumers stem from unemployment, higher prices, increasing health-care costs, and limited retail options in the marketplace. I shop for basic items only. I do not have discretionary income for any extras. I, like so many others, am learning live with less.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  154. MIKE

    I think that this whole affair with Bernie Madoff scared a lot of people and shook thier faith in the financial system. Let's face it, if you can't even trust major and highly reputable financial institutions than who can you trust?

    July 1, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  155. Lynn Clark

    Reality stepped into the lives of Americans. Realities of jobs gone, wages reduced, health and retirement concerns.....all stark and in our face. Hon, the wallets are empty or getting there. You just can't be a consumer of anything when that is the case.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  156. Bruce McDougall in England.

    What caused the steep decline in consumer confidence?

    Probably President Obama's profligate spending.
    Americans are starting to worry about how their great, great, great grandchildren will be able to pay off the debt he's creating.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  157. jim macklin

    Americans are slowly, if not begrudgingly, becoming wiser to the spending habits of Congress and we are confident that if anything is certain, we'll be in another hole soon enough. Businesses throughout this country are slipping away in front of our eyes and "special interests" run rampant in Washington... we'd rather have groceries than a new i-phone.

    Jim in Northern California

    July 1, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  158. Dave Berg

    How can I feel confident about the economy when in the last month alone I have had several friends and family lose their jobs. White and blue collared workers are falling left and right. We just laid off 28 employees this week, the state is furloughing employees, the state police just laid off over 100 troopers, several prisons are closing, Then there is the auto industry... Do I need to say anything else? Well, this is Michigan.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  159. Diane, Houston TX

    Because consumers know full well how badly into the ditch this economy is. When you're eating only what's on sale as "loss leaders" at the local grocery store you don't spend much of anything that you don't have to. But on a brighter note; I got a couple of pairs of pretty good shorts at a local yard sale. The economy has to devolved into "taking in each other's laundry". Not a great economic model.

    Diane, Houston TX

    July 1, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  160. Eli

    I think people are starting to realize that President Obama is in way over his head and can't fix the economy with his charisma and lack of substance.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  161. Don in Manchester,CT

    My educated guess would be because of the impending cost of the new big government programs we are about to be hit with!!!!

    July 1, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  162. eric

    Jack, Americans have realized the truth, in the past 30 years business has increased spending in everything but it's employees. My job paid $15.00 an hour in 1981 and it still pays that today. The recession will end when either pay, real wages for working stiffs, increases or prices decrease. My employer has reacted to the business slow down by ending any overtime and cutting pay which means we buy less, I work for a wholesaler, and therefore we ship less, therefore they have have to cut pay, which mean....you get my point. The idiot Vice Presidents, who are making half a million a year, aren't smart enough to see that it would help business to pay me more.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  163. Gary DeWall

    Has to do with same thing that it has for a few years, Oil Oil Oil which means Gas, Gas, Gas, we pay double again now for my wife to get to work, when it was back down to 1.25 and 1.30 a gallon we were just starting to do a few things again then boom, Oil companies started it again, raising it day after day after day. We cannot afford to go spend money. The oil companies took the money we thought we could finally start spending on a few extra's again. What happen to the alternative energy again, just like all the times before, as soon as it went down to 1.25 we started not hearing it day in and day out, CNN talked it to death when it was 2.50 -3.00– and 4.00 then they to stopped harping on it and everyone went back to the same thing as they always do. OOOOOOOOOOOOBAMA, hey, were still out here, were still hurting, CUT THE GAS PRICES AND PEOPLE WILL START SPENDING AGAIN. WHY IS THAT SO HARD TO UNDERSTAND???

    July 1, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  164. Ivan

    A loss of confidence in Obama's ability to deliver, he waffles too much and plays to the audiences he visits with.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  165. Madeline M

    I don't think this is such a mystery. Consumer confidence is down in part because people are holding on to their cash and creditors are lowering if not eliminating credit for even those who thought to be in good standing with their creditors. No one with a conscience wants to get caught at the store, restaurant, overseas vacation, without the safety net of a credit card to back their purchases. And of course, the scrutiny of the creditors when purchases are made. Just not worth it in this unstable climate with unemployment rising and gas prices rising. Luxury items are taking a HUGE back seat. Last years fashion will do for this year and backyards bbq's are making a comeback.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  166. Ed Doyle

    You have to be kidding! Anybody who owns a home and watching it's value continue to drop. Anyone who holds stocks, an IRA or a 401k, and watching it's value plummet. Worried about when your pink slip is going to arrive at the door step. Lets not forget the sinking dollar and the unchecked spending by the government.

    I can't speak for the rest of the country but I'm worried for the long term viability of the countries ability to meet it's obligations. This country is in trouble.

    Ed from Colora, MD

    July 1, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  167. Wayne in Tampa

    Jack, President Obama continues to keep my spirits up, but I find nothing but doom and gloom coming from the other side. What really gets to me, however, is the knowledge that this message is for one reason only. They really want you to feel the doom and gloom regardless of the reality of the situation. It's the only way they can win.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  168. Brian in Minneapolis

    The drop in consumer confidence is directly related to the drop in confidence in Obama. Every day he goes on TV to tell us about another campaign promise he wont be able to keep, another plan the people making under $250,000 per year will have to pay for, another enemy of America he wants to show weakness to and suck up to.

    Everyone knows they need to hold on to whatever money they have because the propects for the future look bleak and the effect of Democrats in control since 2006 is starting to become obvious.

    The biggest example is the $787 Billion stimulus plan that we needed to hurry up and pass without reading only to find out that after 4 months much less than 10% of the money has been spent. This is probably because he knows that it wasn't a stimulus plan anyway and will have no possitive impact on the economy. The economy seems headed for a repeat of the Carter administration of the late 1970's. High unemployment, high interest rates, high inflation, high consumer dissatisfaction, no clue what to do and no relief in sight.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  169. Jasmine in Germanydrop in consumer confidence?

    What has added to the drop in consumer confidence? The lack of the advertising industry continuing to spend on brainwashing people. It's not a sure bet anymore , so they are tightening their belts.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  170. J. Thornburg


    We produce little but debt in this country, and you are asking why consumer confidence is dipping?

    This country is being gutted like a pig right under our noses. Anyone who didn't lose faith in our debt based economy 20 years ago is too sacred, arrogant or just plain stupid to admit the truth; we have sold out.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  171. Ron G.

    Jack, Consumer confidence will continue to drop as long as jobs continue to be lost. There have been no positive signs of any new jobs being created and once again, people are seeing the reality of how fragile their own job situation may be. The Obama administration needs to focus on and communicate specifically as to how, what and when their policies will create new jobs. So far, all we have heard about are bailouts, stimulus packages, healthcare plans, but no mention of actual job creation. Gainful employment is the only way to re-building consumer confidence.


    July 1, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  172. Potter

    Unexpected to whom, Jack? They've just passed the biggest
    spending bills in history, followed by the biggest TAXING bill
    in history. We don't have any MONEY, Jack. Of course we don't
    have "confidence" in the economy. We're not idiots. Maybe YOU
    could send a note to Washington, they could get a clue. We keep
    telling them. They keep not listening.

    Morgan County

    July 1, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  173. Lynn Thompson

    Earlier somewhat positive consumer figures reflected tax refunds and Social Security stimulus money being used for purchases. Now, everyone has spent that money and are back to living paycheck-to-paycheck.

    I live on SS disability and my expenses include nothing remotely non-critical. Nearly 1/3 of my income goes to Rx drugs. The next 1/3 is rent, and the rest is food, utilities, and car expenses. I eat lots of Ramen soup and $1 frozen dinners. I would kill for a nice salad or piece of fish. Life is very difficult and getting harder.


    July 1, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  174. Patty

    Two reasons: we just saw our quarterly 401-k statements AND while we were crying about that we remembered that we are still in debt up to our eyeballs!

    Carol Stream, IL

    July 1, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  175. Greg in Austin

    I'm surprised there was an actual increase in consumer confidence earlier this year. This depression (it’s not a recession) is far from over. With consumers representing 70% of the economy and most debt strapped we are in for a slow economic malaise for several years.

    Our short sited elected “officials” in Congress, the White House, California, [there’s too many to list] are not helping. My taxes are increasing, my wealth decreasing, and my paycheck less.

    You bet I’m not going to spend any of my money!

    July 1, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  176. Sally

    My consumer confidence has been at a all-time low since the 1990's, when we stopped producing American-made products. I buy my clothes at the Salvation Army so I don't throw my money away on poorly made Chinese garments, and the many other shoddy products they produce in mass quantities. When I see the label "American Made" is when My consumer confidence will surge, Jack.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  177. Tony

    I like the reply of many on this one... OBAMA!


    July 1, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  178. Rich Perry

    I really believe that supporters of the President are beginning to question the previously promised campaign promises of "Transparancy thru out my administration." I have not seen the promised transparancy.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  179. Victoria Olson

    My husband and I have two daughters 4 and 1.5. If I am not offered a job soon, from the many to which I have applied, we won't be able to pay our rent. My husband was a tile setter before he was injured falling on the job – his bicep detached.
    Would you be buying anything if having a place to live and food on the table was your concern? Probably not.
    Being a skilled, hard worker, such as myself, and not being offered a job of any type affects my confidence.

    Grass Valley, Ca

    July 1, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  180. Richard Green

    Consumer confidence could be declining because jobs continue to be lost across the board and [thanks to the GOP obstructionists and blue dog Democrats] we seem to be getting illusion instead of real legislation that will repair the damage done by the Bush crime family.
    Add to that the clearer picture that banks own Washington and consumers start to feel a little uneasy.

    Rich Green
    San Clemente, Cal.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:23 pm |

    It is not a sudden drop, it has been going on for eight years, where have you been? The rich and the famous were very happy, thanks to the GOP. This will take a long time to straighten out, so fasten your seatbelts and be glad that the Republicans didn't get in.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  182. kent neargarder

    we have to have good jobs for every american who can and will work

    July 1, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  183. Ralph Spyer chicago Il

    Maybe the sudden drop in employment, or the fact the government is printing money making the dollar worthless.or the fact that everything is being made in China

    July 1, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  184. Heather Lombard

    Maybe it's the fact that the government is spending itself into oblivion.
    Maybe it's the fact the government is taking over a huge portion of the private sector.
    Maybe it's the fact that unemployment is near 10% and probably rising.
    Maybe it's the fact the federal government shows no interest in enforcing immigration laws.
    Maybe it's the fact the Obama administration appears comfortable bringing terrorist detainees into our country.

    How 'bout all of the above????

    July 1, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  185. Miguel E. from San Leandro, CA

    The CCI is actually up since Obama took office, May and June were around 50%. The end of December was 35%

    July 1, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  186. Tim From Plantation FL

    We don't see a light at the end of tunnel. They say they see signs of recovery, but we don't see them. They tell us a lot of things, and we are starting to doubt them rather than hope they are true. I will start spending more when I don't fear losing my job.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  187. johnchristopher saskatchewan

    Nothing says, "Hide my wallet", like corruption, Jack. Corruption has become the norm..."Hey, forget about it!", they say. "It's just business."
    What the hell is there to have confidence in? The bloodsucking criminals are everywhere.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  188. Richard

    Reality!!! We listen to the media and those in power about how good the economy is doing, while we"re standing there looking into our empty wallet/purse trying to figure out how we're going to pay for the groceries, gas, bill's etc.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  189. Peter

    The Democratic super majority?

    July 1, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  190. Will Stacy

    C'mon, Jack, you're a smart guy. Why should consumer confidence go anywhere but DOWN. Everyone is getting laid off, including me, after 35 years of company service, because all the good paying jobs are going to China, Mexico, or India. We can't even make a car that is competitive.

    Our time is up. We felt so compelled to feed the economies of foreign countries that we forgot to feed ourselves and now we are about to starve to death.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  191. Bob Davis, Dallas

    It's pretty simple. You can't continue to "tax and spend" (remember that cliche) and expect not to erode the confidence of the people. Spending more than you make defies commmon sense, even to those that voted for a free government ride in the last election by only taxing the rich. It's our kids and grandkids that will have to pay for this. I love mine too much to burden them with my debt. Thank God I live in Texas where we can balance a budget - even without an income tax.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  192. Mike's Mechanical, LLC

    How about the arrogance of the big banks in this country? We bail them out, give them low interest money to induce consumer spending, then they turn around and up the interest rates and lower credit limits on anyone using credit cards even small businesses which rely upon them for day to day operations! When are they going to get it or better yet, when are our politicians going to make them get it? How about raising their interest rates accordingly to what their charging consumers and pay off our deficit or return it to the people which actually have a major ownership stake in these banks?

    July 1, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  193. Charles in Maryland

    I just got laid off on Friday Jack. I have been with a pretty well known telecommunication giant for over 8 years. I have received the best or second highest level as it relates to performance evaluations during my tenure. My job was phased out but I guess I am supposed to take my part of my severance package and buy a flat screen tv? GET REAL!

    July 1, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  194. Ryan

    When we found out what all the dirty CEO's were doing.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  195. lampton

    i believe, that as more farmer's markets open, the barter system will find a place to seed n flourish. we don't really need money for every single thing we do or want.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  196. JL Preston of Maryland

    Jack, the Consumer Confidence Index is based on two questions obtaining sample respondents' appraisals current business conditions and the current employment situation. The index retreated only slightly from May to June - from 29.7 to 24.8. This slight decrease means that respondents were very slightly more negative in June than in May. It does not mean that the recession is substantially worsening. The stock market did not respond significantly to this news. In fact, the DOW actually increased today.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  197. Kathleen

    Are you kidding me. Here in Michigan way before the auto industry bailouts we could see this coming a mile away. Like a few years ago. But no one cared it's only Michigan, at that time...

    July 1, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  198. kickindustcowboy Las Vegas, Nevada

    Falling assets in homes and retiremt funds due to greedy bankers and wall streeters sellling toxic assets and "derivatives" (an "asset" that does not empirically exist), high unemployment and under-employment rates, rising gas prices, rising utility prices, rising grocery prices, the bank vultures raising interest rates of credit cards for those whose accounts are in good standing, even after receiveng billions in bailouts from our own tax money, medical and pharmacutical prices. I guess maybe we could go live in those closed California state parks for a while as we struggle to get ahead.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  199. lisa

    Consumer confidence sliding is absolutely tied to rising fuel costs, and if Obama wants to impress me, he'll remove oil from the futures market–nothing that is tied that closely to our economy should be subject to the smoke and mirrors antics that those conscienceless criminals that are trading do every day.
    Lisa from Vermont

    July 1, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  200. Matthew

    The uncertainity abiut the job security in this country is one thing also alot of americans including me are very nervious about doing any big time spending , I think the government needs to give more incentives and tax breaks at this uncertain time of the economy and help get more foreign comapanys in this country to offer jobs to people that want to get back to work and this will turn the consumer confidence around and get this country going again.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  201. Tom Doyle

    It's very simple. Manufacturers and retailers are still not providing the public with the products that they want. They are still pointing fingers at who and what are causing their problems. Example? GM is still seeking contract cuts from it's employees when the real problem is that the public does not want the gas guzzlers that they make.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  202. Jack - Lancaster, OH


    My first response is, who did not expect this ! The folks supposedly running the place and protecting us are a much bigger circus than an honest human being, albeit most unusual Michael Jackson. We are not fooled out here, the government has a lifeline and ignores it, the will of the people. People predicted most of the results of the bad decisions made and the pipers will collect. Confidence made a steep drop because it was false confidence.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:42 pm |
  203. j/NJ

    What caused an unexpected, steep drop in consumer confidence?

    Not so unexpected when one considers rising health costs, declining benefits, government bailouts, government debt and overwhelming government intrusion in virtually all matters...also nation building abroad, a monstrous security bureaucracy at home, stifling govt regulation, unfair and increasingly burdensome taxes and a USSC conservative majority who decided recently that since there is no reference to DNA in an American Constitution that was ratified in 1787, criminal defendants in the 21st century have no due process right to contest their guilt beyond any legal doubt, sound bizarre? in any event a truly amazing display of judicial reasoning...next question? where can one extract consumer confidence in any of the above?...

    July 1, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  204. russ

    The problem has been that our import and export taxes are too low.
    Fix that problem and America can start growing again. Use the extra money to eliminate all income taxes on Americans.
    Yes! Go up that much on imports and exports that the taxes on our own people can be wiped out. You will soon see US Factories again.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:46 pm |
  205. Don in Grand Rapids, Mi

    In a word....OBAMA

    July 1, 2009 at 6:46 pm |
  206. john moreno

    Debt plagued Americans who have been spending way beyond their means for years are waiting for Obama to eliminate their obligation to pay. Lets just tack it on to the national deficit and keep feeding the beast. This will allow them to restart the cycle of ignorant spending (consumer confidence).Utopia is just around the corner.
    San Jose, Ca.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  207. JIM S

    It is obvious. Barack Obama's failed economic policies have made thing brom bad to worse. I have not seen anything positive in his almost 6 months in office. They passed the tarp.. They passed the talp. They bailed out AIG and the greed masters gave out bonuses. They bailed out GM and Chrysler but should have let them file for bankruptcy. They passed the Stimulus and with all this nothing happened. In my opinion, tax breaks would be more effective and historically they worked under Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. This is the first ime I am worried about the economy this early in a presidency. I was worried about Jimmy Carter worst president in history bu not this early in his term.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:50 pm |
  208. Cora - Hot Springs Ark

    I believe it is because fuel,food,jobs just the mess we are in period.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:52 pm |
  209. Gail

    I am one of the people losing their home to foreclosure due to rising cost of living and unemployment, but unless my mortgage is owned by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae none of the help programs Obama has attempted are available to me. I sent Obama an email twice with an idea that would fix the foreclosure issue and rebuild the real estate economy, without costing the taxpayers a dime, and would free up more money in the peoples pockets, which would allow us to be able to spend more boosting the economy. TRY BAILING US OUT AND USEING THE TRICKLE UP EFFECT!!!!!

    July 1, 2009 at 6:54 pm |
  210. Conor in Chicago

    The United States is dead. That's why their is no confidence.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  211. Rich


    The President is finding out that he is no longer on the campaign trail and reality is about to hit. He has broken so many promises made in the campaign. Our grandchildren will be the big losers and the people can read the tea leaves ..... Inflation is going to be a big problem in the near future.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:58 pm |