The Conference Board today reported that the consumer confidence index fell to 95.6 in October from 99.5 in September. The numbers fell slightly more than expected, with the average economist prediction coming in at an even 98. The present situation index in October fell about 2% to 118.8 from 121.2 in September, while the expectations index dropped almost 5 points to 80.1 from 85. The indices' declines mark the lowest levels since post-Katrina in 2005.

Economists with the Conference Board attribute the wilting consumer confidence to further weakening in business conditions, claiming the pessimism may be indicative of lackluster job growth in the months ahead. Poll

On a scale of 1-5, how confident are you in the short-term future of the economy?

1) Least confident
2) Slightly pessimistic
3) Moderately confident
4) Slightly optimistic
5) Most confident