The busiest shopping season of the year is well underway and retailers have dollar signs dancing in their heads, but Americans' economic enthusiasm has cooled. According to the most recent results of the RBC CASH (Consumer Attitudes and Spending by Household) Index, which measured the attitudes of 1,000 Americans earlier this week, consumer confidence dropped more than five points this month. Although Americans' assessments of job security rose slightly, overall consumer sentiment dropped, as consumers expressed concern about current and future economic conditions, as well as investing. As a result, the RBC CASH Index for December released today by RBC Financial Group, stands at 86.9, compared to 92.4 in November.
The downturn this month breaks a 3-year trend of increasing consumer confidence in the month of December, as 2003, 2004 and 2005 all exhibited gains in consumer confidence from November to December. RBC Capital Markets reports that the downtrend in consumer confidence is not indicative of a significant, continuing decline, rather it underpins the association’s forecast that the economy is moderating to a sustainable growth rate.
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