Corporate giving panel today in Greenwich — Consumer confidence slips — Auto sales up 6%

Happy Tuesday! Florida Republicans will vote in today’s primary, while the Giants and the Patriots will participate in Super Bowl Media Day in Indianapolis – expect the press to vastly over-cover both events.

LEADING OFF: Today, seven panelists from Westchester and Fairfield counties will discuss the state of corporate giving and how not-for-profits are faring in these uncertain and difficult economic times. The panel is being hosted at L’Escale restaurant by Westfair Communications Inc., the parent company of the Westchester County Business Journal and the Fairfield County Business Journal, and will feature speakers from the United Way of Putnam/Westchester, ShopRite, PepsiCo, ArtsWestchester, and more. If businesses are still struggling to expand and still reluctant to invest (which, by and large, they are), then you can be sure that the economic issues are amplified for non-profits, who depend on corporate giving programs to stay alive. Stay tuned for reactions and insight from the speakers.

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE SLIPS IN DECEMBER: The Conference Board said today that its consumer confidence index for the month of December fell to 61.1 from a revised 64.8 in November. (A panel of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had called for the index to increase to 68). The report noted that fewer Americans expect their incomes to increase over the next six months.

QUICK HITS: U.S. auto sales are expected to show a 6 percent increase when they are unveiled tomorrow, according to published reports; Negative advertisements represented 92 percent of all ads aired in Florida in the lead-up to today’s primary; Gannett reported yesterday that fourth quarter profits fell 33 percent to $116.9 million; Philips Electronics posted a net fourth-quarter loss of $214 million; excitement continues to build on Wall Street as Facebook is expected to announce an IPO date in the next couple of weeks.

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