U.S. consumer confidence was weak in October

Consumer confidence in the U.S. increased slightly in October but remained weak, according to The New York Times.

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index rose from 48.6 in September to 50.2 in October; economists expected 49.2. A reading of 90 or higher indicates a healthy economy.

The index measures how shoppers feel about business conditions, the job market and the next six months. Economists watch the index closely because consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of economic activity and is a crucial part of a strong rebound.

The index hit a low of 25.3 in February 2009. In October 2009, it was at 48.7 and mostly has hovered between the mid-40s and high 50s since.

The part of the index that measures how shoppers feel now about the economy increased from 23.3 in September to 23.9 in October. The measure that assesses consumers' outlook for the next six months increased from 65.5 in September to 67.8 in October.

"Consumers continue to be quite concerned about the short-term outlook," says Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board Consumer Research Center. "Present and future indicators point toward more of the same in the coming months."

Date : 10/28/2010