With Christmas only a month away, American consumers became more pessimistic about the economy in November, sending a widely watched barometer of confidence to the lowest level in two years amid worries about rising fuel costs and a housing market slump.
The New York-based Conference Board said Tuesday that its Consumer Confidence Index dropped to 87.3, marking a four-month slide and continuing down almost 8 points from the revised 95.2 in October.
It was the lowest reading since 85.2 in October 2005 when gas and oil prices soared after hurricanes flooded New Orleans and shut down a large chunk of the nation’s oil refineries. It also marked the sharpest drop since September 2005 when the index plummeted 18 points from the previous month. Analysts had expected a reading of 91.5 in November.