The Associated Press reports that “American consumers are feeling less confident this month as concerns over a possible recession grew despite most recent data pointing to a healthy US economy.

“The Conference Board, a business research group, said Tuesday that its consumer confidence index fell to 106.7 from a revised 110.9 in January. Analysts had been forecasting that the index remained steady from January to February. The decline in the index comes after three straight months of improvement.

“The index measures both Americans’ assessment of current economic conditions and their outlook for the next six months.

“The index measuring Americans short-term expectations for income, business, and the job market fell to 79.8 from 81.5 in January. A reading under 80 often signals an upcoming recession.

“The decline in consumer confidence this month comes as somewhat of a surprise as the economy continues to show resilience in the face of higher interest rates and inflation. Though price growth has receded considerably in the past year, inflation remains above the Federal Reserve’s 2 percent target.”

KC’s View:

A recession could happen.  Though to this point, it may be that a sustained recessionary mindset is more likely.

It also doesn’t help that inflation continues to be a real problem, and that there is a significant percentage of folks who are saying in loud voices that the economy is in the toilet and never has been this bad.

What retailers have to do, I think, is be consistent in acknowledging that a lot of folks are still feeling economic pain, provide relevant solutions and resonant wins, and work to be a resource for information and illumination as well as as source of product.

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