Archive for the ‘consumer confidence’ Category

Consumer Confidence at All Time Low

October 28, 2008

Layoffs, plunging home prices and tumbling investments have pushed consumer pessimism to record levels in October, a private research group said Tuesday. Wall Street shook it off, though, focusing instead on higher global markets amid optimism the Federal Reserve will ease interest rates further.

By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, AP Economics Writer

The Conference Board said the consumer confidence index fell to 38, down from a revised 61.4 in September and significantly below analysts’ expectations of 52.

An employee working as a money changer prepares U.S. dollar ...

That’s the lowest level for the index since the Conference Board began tracking consumer sentiment in 1967, and the third-steepest drop. A year ago, the index stood at 95.2.

Wall Street, which has come to expect bad news on the economy, took the report in stride. The Dow gave up some of its early gains but was still up about 2 percent in midday trading, while the broader S&P 500 index rose 1.7 percent.

Investors are expecting the Federal Reserve to cut its target interest rate Wednesday by up to one-half a percentage point to 1 percent after its two-day meeting that began Tuesday.

In addition, European and Asian financial markets were up significantly Tuesday on expectations of the cut.

The news was not good for Main Street, though.

“Consumers are extremely pessimistic,” said Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board’s Consumer Research Center. “This news does not bode well for retailers who are already bracing for what is shaping up to be a very challenging holiday season.”

Separately, a closely watched index of home prices fell by its steepest ever annual rate in August.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081028/ap_on_bi_
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Consumer confidence at lowest since 2002

March 7, 2008
By JEANNINE AVERSA, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON – Confidence in the economy dropped to a new low as worries about a possible recession, persistent problems in the housing and credit markets and lofty energy prices put people in a more gloomy mind-set.

According to the RBC Cash Index, confidence sank to a mark of 33.1 in early March, down from 48.5 in February. The new reading was the worst since the index began in 2002 and surpassed the previous low reached in February.

“The U.S. consumer is definitely in full defensive mode,” said T.J. Marta, a fixed-income strategist at RBC Capital Markets.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080307/ap_on_bi_ge/
consumer_confidence;_ylt=AkUIO23vd
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China’s Toy Makers Mount Drive to Salvage Safety Reputation

January 10, 2008

By Donald Greenlees   
The New York Times
January 10, 2008

HONG KONG — Jay Horowitz, owner of American Classic Toy, started putting a prominent notice last October on all his products, most of them made in China, stating that they contained no lead-based paint.

Mr. Horowitz, 60, and a New York native, has a nostalgic product line that harks back to an era when many more toys were made in the United States.

The toys that his company produces, like Snakes Alive, first released in 1966, may well look quaint to a generation of children growing up on computer games.

But unlike the handful of rivals that still manufacture toys in the United States, Mr. Horowitz, like almost everyone else in the business, remains committed to making toys in China. As a result, he has joined the industry campaign….

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http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/10/business/
worldbusiness/10toys.html

China Calls Toy Recall ‘Responsible’ But Doesn’t Itself Take Responsibility

August 23, 2007

By AUDRA ANG, Associated Press

BEIJING – China on Thursday said a global recall of millions of its toys was the responsible thing to do, but said that was the result of new industry standards — not poor quality.

Meanwhile, a Cabinet-level panel announced the launch of a nationwide safety campaign focused on food and drugs, as well as increased monitoring of exports. The measures underscored government efforts to win back consumer confidence.

Earlier this month, Mattel Inc. recalled almost 19 million Chinese-made items around the world including dolls, cars and action figures. Some were contaminated with lead paint….

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070823/ap_on_re_
as/china_tainted_products_31