BUYING CLIMATE -- Forty-one percent say it's an excellent or good time to buy things; 40 percent said so last week. The best was 57 percent on Jan. 16, 2000. The worst was 20 percent in fall 1990.
METHODOLOGY -- The ABC News/"Money" magazine Consumer Comfort Index represents a rolling average based on telephone interviews with a random sample of about 1,000 adults nationwide each month. This week's results are based on 1,000 interviews in the four weeks ending Oct. 17, 2004, and have an error margin of plus or minus three percentage points. The expectations question was asked of 500 respondents Oct. 6-17; that result has a 4.5-point margin of error. Field work was conducted by ICR-International Communications Research of Media, Pa.
The ABC News/"Money" index is derived as follows: The negative response to each index question is subtracted from the positive response to that question. The three resulting numbers are then added and divided by three. The index can range from +100 (everyone positive on all three measures) to -100 (all negative on all three measures). The survey began in December 1985.
See previous analyses in our Poll Vault.