When confidence falls, the first thing that goes is discretionary spending, and
that can mean dining out, going to the movies, and it can also mean shopping, according the Conference Board, plus, retailers also have more
competition for that spending, in the form of higher prices at the pump and for
MediaPost Publications – Consumer Confidence Hits 15-Year-Low, Hurts Results – 02/27/2008
CONSUMER CONFIDENCE TOOK A NOSEDIVE in February, falling to its lowest level in 15 years, reports the Conference Board. And, as if to underscore just how concerned consumers are, a number of leading retailers posted results dotted with the kinds of adjectives that CEOs dread: Difficult. Disappointing. Challenging.
The Consumer Confidence Index, which had also fallen a bit in January, dropped to 75, from 87.3 last month, its lowest level since November 1993, when it hit 71.9. (One exception, the Conference Board says, is the beginning of the Iraq War in 2003.)