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Consumer Reports Index: Employment High, Sentiment Low
Nov 22, 2011
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A monthly index of overall consumer financial health from Consumer Reports identifies positive signs in the economy in November, as well as ongoing challenges to consumers.

The report's employment index improved, showing slightly more jobs gained than lost.

A real risk comes in declining consumer sentiment. "Sentiment among wealthier Americans has plunged, while those earning less than $50,000 languish in negative territory, a bad convergence of events for spending,” said Ed Farrell, director of the Consumer Reports National Research Center.

CR's Past 30-Day Retail Index (indexing October activity) was 9.1, from 11.3 in the previous month's report. The decrease was driven by declines in:
• major appliances: 4.9% in the current report compared to 8.6% in the previous month's report
• major home electronics: 10.4% in the current report compared to 12.3% in the previous month's report

CR's Next 30-Day Retail Index (indexing purchases planned for November) was 11.1, from 9.3 in the previous month's report. The improvement came largely from:
• planned purchasing in personal electronics: 22.5% in the current report compared to 17.1% in the previous month's report
• major home electronics: 14.7% in the current report compared to 11.7% in the previous month's report

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