U.S. consumer confidence plunged to all-time lows in October after three straight monthly gains, the Conference Board reported today. The consumer confidence index plummeted to 38 from an upwardly revised 61.4 in the month of September. Economists were expecting a reading of 52. Consumer confidence is at its lowest level in the 41-year existence of the report.

 

Consumer confidence
Biggest declines
Date Event % Change
Oct. 2008 Bailouts & bears -23.4
Oct. 1990 Kuwait oil prices -23.0
April 1980 Iran hostage crisis -20.3
Sept. 2005 Katrina -18.0
Sept. 2001 Sept. 11 -17.0
Aug. 1990 Kuwait invasion -17.0
Nov. 1987 Post-market crash -14.3

Via MarketWatch:

Expectations turned “significantly more pessimistic,” with the percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to worsen over the next six months rising to 36.6% from 21%, and those expecting fewer jobs rising to 41.5% from 26.9%.

The expectations index fell to 35.5 from 61.5 in September. That’s also the lowest ever recorded. The present situation index fell to 41.9 from 61.2 in September.

See Full Report.