Consumer confidence is on track for its second-worst year on record in nearly 25 years of weekly polls, according to an ABC News index, although the figure held steady in the latest week.
Overall consumer sentiment remains deeply depressed, with the index reading -45 for the past two weeks on its scale of +100 to -100. The average for the year so far is -46, while the worst-ever reading was last year's -48.
The Labor Department reported Friday that unemployment climbed to 9.8% in November and weekly jobless claims rose by 26,000. On a related note, the index found that just 12% of Americans rate the national economy positively and just 26% say it's a good time to buy things they want and need.
After an uncharacteristic period of partisan agreement on economic conditions, ABC said Democrats and Republicans have diverged. The index is 16% higher among Republicans this week than it is among Democrats, presumably reflecting the GOP's post-election glow.
The index is based on a random survey of 1,000 respondents nationwide. It measures typical Americans' confidence in three areas: the national economy, their finances and their willingness to spend money, according to the report. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.
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