U.S. Consumer Confidence Remained Low in September

Following the sharp fall in the US consumer confidence index during August, this index remained low in September and nearly didn’t change.

According to the recent U.S. consumer confidence survey, the consumer confidence index remained low in September and nearly unchanged compared with August’s index. The index reached in September to 45.2 (1985=100) a slight increase from 45.4 in August. American consumers’ short term outlook in U.S. business conditions has slightly improved according to the report. On the other hand, the consumers’ assessment of current day conditions has weakened further in September.

Please note that this report was based on a survey conducted up to September 15th. During that time, the market conditions remained nearly unchanged and the real turbulence in the financial markets occurred in the past week as the US stock markets, and major commodities prices including crude oil prices and gold prices sharply declined.

This consumer confidence index might be among the factors to affect the recent rally in natural gas prices in the past couple of days: according to a paper prepared by Roache et. al (2008) on the effects of news on commodities prices including natural gas prices, there was a positive significant coefficient for “consumer confidence” on natural gas prices i.e. this news has a positive linear affect on natural gas prices. Furthermore, the paper also suggested positive significant coefficient between this news and crude oil prices.

Currently major commodities are traded up as many attribute this rally to the light optimism over the European debt crisis:

Current Nymex crude oil price, short term futures (October  2011 delivery) is traded sharply up by 2.97%, at $82.62 per barrel as of 14:15*.

Current gold price, short term futures (October  2011 delivery) is traded at $ 1,668.50 per t oz. a $73.7 increase or 4.62%, as of 12:38*.

Euros to USD is currently traded up at 1.3607 a 0.5474% increase as of 17:32*.

(* GMT)


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