Consumer confidence plummets in October

After improving slightly in the month of September, consumer confidence dropped considerably in October, a new poll reveals.

According to The Conference Board and its Consumer Confidence Index, consumer sentiment stands at 39.8, down from 46.4 in the previous 30-day period.

"Consumer confidence is now back to levels last seen during the 2008-2009 recession," said Lynn Franco, director of the consumer research center for The Conference Board. "Consumer expectations, which had improved in September, gave back all of the gain and then some, as concerns about business conditions, the labor market and income prospects increased."

She added that concern about the present state of the economy continues to grow.

Economic experts say that consumer spending represents approximately 70 percent of the nation's economy. When confidence levels are low, consumers tend to hold on to their money and not make as many purchases. Maintaining a strong credit report may encourage consumers to consider buying, as they will be able to borrow at lower rates of interest compared to how much they would have to spend if they had bad credit.