COMMENTARY | A new study shows that consumer confidence has fallen for the fourth straight month this year. Right now, consumer confidence is the lowest it has been since the beginning of 2012.
The study was conducted by a research firm, The Conference Board. In a recent story CNNMoney found that the Conference's Board consumer confidence index has dropped to 62, more than two points lower than May.
Lowered consumer confidence is typically brought on by a few different economic factors. For example, a high unemployment rate often affects consumer confidence, but other factors - such as business stability - play an important part. When polled, only 14 percent of people told Conference Board they thought the job situation would improve. 35 percent of the people polled thought business conditions were bad and 16 percent thought those conditions will only get worse.
Personally, I have to say I agree. While I have more faith in the U.S. economy than I did two years ago, I think we have a long road ahead of us before things really turn around. And I say that as someone who suffered the full effects of the recession. For several months I was unemployed. During that time I went into survival mode and bought only what I absolutely needed. Now that I've found a job, I still find myself in the same mindset.
I have a hard time spending my paychecks and not saving everything I can. After all, CNNMoney reported that the unemployment rate was at 8.2 percent in May, and I worry what will happen to my finances if I'm laid off. Knowing that it took me almost a year to find a full time job, I have a hard time justifying a pair of shoes or a restaurant meal, especially when I know the shoes I have work and it will cost less to cook at home.
But that may not be the best way to look at things. Consumer spending accounts for two-thirds of the nation's economy, according to CNNMoney. If we want to recover, we need to go out there and shop to pump money back into the economy, but I have a hard time doing so. I just don't feel as confident in the economy as I did before the recession and I want to make sure I'm covered financially should anything go wrong.
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