'Confidence' low but stable

Business confidence in the US economy stabilized in the final qarter of 1979, but still remains at its lowest level since 1976, the Conference Board reports. And the outlook for profits in 1980 is distinctly gloomy.

The board's measure of business confidence held at 32 in the final quarter last year, the same level posted in the third quarter. But this figure had averaged 42 during the first half of the year.

The index, which is expressed on a scale of 0 to 100, is based on survey replies from more than 1,600 chief executives.

The outlook for 1980 profits is the weakest in three years. Only 20 percent of the chief executives surveyed look for improved profits.

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