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Storm delays confidence index

The Conference Board is delaying the release of its Consumer Confidence Index for October until Thursday because of Hurricane Sandy.

The survey was scheduled to be released Tuesday morning, but the Conference Board said it decided on the delay to help ensure the safety of its staff and people who follow the index. The storm has made travel difficult or impossible in many places and left millions of people without power.

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Dozens of companies have postponed quarterly earnings reports for the same reasons.

The Consumer Confidence Index is watched closely because consumer spending drives nearly 70 percent of US economic activity. The index has fluctuated sharply this year. It has fallen five times in the past nine months, hitting a low for the year in August before rising in September.

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