A Crisis Of Consumer Confidence? : Planet Money The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index is one of the indicators retailers, policy-makers and manufacturers use to gauge the health of the economy. But what is the index, exactly?

A Crisis Of Consumer Confidence?

Consumer confidence has been falling lately. Not by a ton, but it's at its second lowest rate in a year. It's measured by the Conference Board, which crunches a bunch of data and issues a Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) every month. Because consumer spending makes up roughly 70 percent of the economy, economists and politicians pay a lot attention to the way consumers feel, and regard the CCI as an important gauge of the health of the economy.

Right now the CCI stands at 124.1. But what does that mean? How low can the CCI go? And what data goes into the number? So many questions! Stacey called up the Conference Board's Lynn Franco to talk about the current number and how the Index works.

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