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Consumer Confidence Fades As Unemployment Figures Remain

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In these tough economic times, good news can be hard to come by—especially hard for the economic recovery itself. This remains true at the midway point of 2010, as a major indicator of the strength of the America’s economic machine is showing that we’re still in the throes of our own Great Recession. According to a report by Daily Finance, the Consumer Confidence Index fell to 50.4 in July, its lowest mark in five months driven by fears about unemployment.  “The consensus of economists surveyed by Bloomberg had been that the closely watched index would dip to 51 in July from a revised 54.3 in June, and 63.3 in May. The index hit a record low of 25.3 in April 2009.  As they did in June, every index component dropped in July, and it was clear what was weighing on the minds of consumers: job market conditions and the outlook for business conditions in the near future. The percentage of survey respondents who said jobs are "hard to get" increased to 45.8% in July from 43.5% in June, while those claiming jobs are "plentiful" was unchanged at 4.3%. The percentage of those expecting there to be fewer jobs increased to 21.8% from 20.1%. Those expecting more jobs to become available in the months ahead declined to 14.3% from 16.2%.  In addition, those expecting an improvement in business conditions over the next six months decreased to 15.9% from 17.1%, while those expecting business conditions to worsen increased to 15.7% from 13.9%.” So, what do these consumer confidence figures have to do with you? In the real economic world, falling consumer confidence can have many impacts, including: Retail Sales As Daily Finance reported, the director of the Conference Board’s Consumer Research Center, Lynn Franco, said the recent drop in consumer confidence could have a negative impact on consumer activity, including back-to-school business. "Consumer confidence faded further in July as consumers continue to grow increasingly more pessimistic about the short-term outlook. Concerns about business conditions and the labor market are casting a dark cloud over consumers that is not likely to lift until the job market improves," Franco said in a statement. "Given consumers' heightened level of anxiety, along with their pessimistic income outlook and lackluster job growth, retailers are very likely to face a challenging back-to-school season." As a result, if you’re a retailer, this news could mean another season of lost sales lower profits, and an overstock of inventory with nowhere to go. More directly, floundering business can mean layoffs, contributing to a ever-more unemployment, and even less consumer spending. Slow Economic Growth This endless cycle of no confidence, no business, no jobs, no confidence, doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon.  As Franco said, “[c]oncerns about business conditions and the labor market are casting a dark cloud over consumers that is not likely to lift until the job market improves.” And, since consumer spending is one of the most important part of our nation’s economy—accounting for nearly 70 & of the country’s total GDP—a drop in consumer confidence is always a bad sign for America’s economic health. Plus, while experts don’t agree whether this slow growth will lead to a second (or “double-dip”) Recession, the longer the economy languishes the longer American families will likely do the same. Bankruptcy As the economy continues its “slow-to-no” recovery and consumer confidence fads, confidence in the benefits of bankruptcy continues to rise. If your own economic house is shaken due to credit card debt, repossessions or foreclosure, it may be time to take your financial future into your own hands. The first step is knowing a qualified bankruptcy attorney who can help you regain your power, conquer creditors and face your financial fears, yielding—all with the right kinds of support, information and insights—at a low cost— for a viable and secure future.  The bankruptcy experts at the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt offer a totally FREE debt consultation and now, more than ever, it’s time to take them up on their offer. Just call toll free to 1-888-234-4181, or during the off hours, you can make your own appointment right online at www.billsbills.com. Simply click on the yellow “FREE Consultation Now” button.

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