COLLEGE PARK -- The October stock market collapse apparently has shaken the confidence Maryland consumers have in the U.S. economy, a new survey shows.
A statewide poll, conducted by the University of Maryland's Survey Research Center, found that 35 percent of 213 people questioned after the Oct. 19 collapse believed the economy would worsen in 1988. Fourteen percent said they believed the economy would improve.
The confidence ratings were the lowest since the center's first survey was conducted in April 1981. Shortly before the October collapse, about 20 percent of those surveyed said they were optimistic about the economy.
Timothy Triplett, a University of Maryland economist who directed the study, said the poll was conducted from Oct. 10 to Dec. 2, with the market collapse coming about nine days after researchers began their work.
From a personal financial standpoint, 37 percent said they anticipated being better off in a year and 23 said they expected their situation to worsen.
A nationwide poll conducted in December showed that consumer confidence in the U.S. economy may be on the rebound. The survey by the Conference Board, which is based in New York, found that 9.4 percent of the 5,000 households surveyed expected business conditions to worsen over the next six months.
In November, 12.4 percent of those surveyed believed conditions would worsen.