A decent research/story project for your students could be to look at this data and then conduct interviews on campus looking at how confident GMU students are about their present and future.
Yes, such "student on the street" interviews would not be scientific but it will give the students the experience of researching (getting the hard data) and then trying to match it up with interviews.
Lynn Franco (212) 339-0344
Board Consumer Confidence IndexTM
to an All-Time Low
28, 2008…The Conference Board Consumer Confidence IndexTM,
which had improved moderately in September, fell to an all-time low
in October. The Index now stands at 38.0 (1985=100), down from 61.4
in September. The Present Situation Index decreased to 41.9 from 61.1
last month. The Expectations Index declined to 35.5 from 61.5 in September.
Consumer Confidence SurveyTM is based on a representative sample
of 5,000 U.S. households. The monthly survey is conducted for The Conference
Board by TNS. TNS is the world’s largest custom research company.
The cutoff date for October’s preliminary results was
Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center:
“The impact of the financial crisis over the last several weeks has
clearly taken a toll on consumers’ confidence. The decline in the
Index (-23.4 points) is the third largest in the history of the series,
and the lowest reading on record. In assessing current conditions, consumers
rated the labor market and business conditions much less favorably,
suggesting that the fourth quarter is off to a weaker start than the
third quarter. Looking ahead, consumers are extremely pessimistic,
and a significantly larger proportion than last month foresees business
and labor market conditions worsening. Their earnings outlook, as well
as inflation outlook, is also more pessimistic, and this news does not
bode well for retailers who are already bracing for what is shaping
up to be a very challenging holiday season.”
appraisal of current conditions deteriorated sharply in October. Those
saying business conditions are “bad” increased to 38.3 percent from
33.4 percent, while those claiming business conditions are “good”
declined to 9.2 percent from 12.8 percent. Consumers’ assessment of
the labor market was also much more negative. The percentage of consumers
saying jobs are “hard to get” rose to 37.2 percent from 32.2 percent
in September, while those claiming jobs are “plentiful” decreased
to 8.9 percent from 12.6 percent.
short-term outlook turned significantly more pessimistic. Those expecting
business conditions to worsen over the next six months surged to 36.6
percent from 21.0 percent, while those anticipating conditions to improve
fell to 9.9 percent from 13.4 percent. The outlook for the job market
was also less favorable. The percent of consumers expecting fewer jobs
in the months ahead surged to 41.5 percent from 26.9 percent, while
those anticipating more jobs decreased to 7.4 percent from 11.9 percent.
The proportion of consumers expecting their incomes to increase fell
to 10.8 percent from 15.1 percent.
2008 Consumer Confidence Survey