Consumer Confidence - We Ain't Too Confident, huge drop

The conference board has released the February 2009 consumer confidence numbers. A graph says it all:

 

consumer confidence index Feb. 2009

 

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index™, which had decreased moderately in January, declined in February, reaching yet another all-time low. The Index now stands at 25.0 (1985=100), down from 37.4 in January. The Present Situation Index declined to 21.2 from 29.7 last month. The Expectations Index decreased to 27.5 from 42.5 in January.

The Consumer Confidence Survey™ 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 February's preliminary results was February 18th.

The Consumer confidence survey also tracks perceptions on income, jobs.

The employment outlook was also much grimmer. The percentage of consumers expecting fewer jobs in the months ahead increased to 47.3 percent from 36.9 percent, while those expecting more jobs declined to 7.1 percent from 9.1 percent. The proportion of consumers expecting an increase in their incomes declined to 7.6 percent from 10.3 percent.

When, when will the focus on the U.S. citizen be as a producer, not a consumer. This jobs number implies Americans are catching on (my interpretation), that they as a workforce are simply not getting support.

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Confidence is not reality

I suspect the natural level of consumer confidence is zero. But why is 1985 considered to be the high point?

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Moral hazards would not exist in a system designed to eliminate fraud.

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Maximum jobs, not maximum profits.