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Less confidence, less spending?

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Scott Jagow: We’ll find out what U.S. consumers think about the economy this morning. The Conference Board issues its monthly survey on consumer confidence, and it could be down for the fourth straight month. More from Jeremy Hobson.


Jeremy Hobson: Today’s report will be the result of interviews with 5,000 households. And it’s views like this one from Steve Glorioso in downtown Washington D.C. that analysts are afraid of:

Hobson: How confident are you right now in the state of the economy?

Steve Glorioso: Not very. I personally am not in any economic danger, but it just seems that everything is going in the wrong direction.

But will that lack of confidence mean less spending? I asked consumer expert Scott Hoyt at Moody’s Economy.com.

Scott Hoyt: It can, but it doesn’t always.

In this case, University of Maryland business professor Peter Morici says consumers will pull back. He says high gas prices, falling home prices and a volatile stock market are scaring them.

Peter Morici: People are pretty good at sensing when things are slowing down. Now, just because we have falling confidence does not mean we’re going to have a recession, but it’s one of those indicators that gives us pause.

In Washington, I’m Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

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