Consumer Confidence Falls Before Shopping Season

Recent studies show consumer confidence is on a continuous decline. In just the last week, the percentage of consumers with a favorable outlook on the economy dropped 3 percent, according to Money Magazine.

Just two years ago, 80% of consumers rated the economy as good or excellent, compared to 26% today.

And shoppers like Shannon Skelton of Henderson have noticed a change in their spending habits. "Two years ago, we tended to just go and spend," says Skelton. "We would not think twice about making a big purchase," she recalls. "But now as I'm shopping, I'm second guessing ( my selections)."

Nita Leist of Ben Wheeler says despite dire economic reports, her shopping habits remain the same. Leist is part of a minority, only 36 % of U.S. shoppers believe it's a good time to buy.

"We love a good bargain, and I think they're out there," says Leist. "Especially, if you shop early."

The same study by Money Magazine says 53 % of Americans still rate their personal income as excellent or good. Four years ago, that number was about 20 % higher.