Economic worries leave advisors with a gloomy near-term financial outlook, according to the The Advisor Confidence Index (ACI) put out by Rydex AdvisorBenchmarking Inc.

Advisor confidence sank in September, marking the second consecutive monthly decline and the lowest mark since the March 2004 inception of the index, which gauges advisors' views on the U.S. economy and stock market. The ACI decreased 8.69% in September to 100.25, down from 109.79 in August. The recent loss in advisor confidence was due to advisors' growing concerns about a weakening economy. Advisors are "increasingly concerned about a slowdown in consumer spending that could cause a mild recession," commented one survey participant. Potential bugaboos regarding spending include high energy prices, the housing slowdown and the credit crunch.

All four elements used to calculate the ACI decreased in September. Advisors were most negative about the current economic outlook, which sank 12.63%. The six-month and 12-month economic outlooks were negative 11.76% and 8.80%, respectively. The stock market outlook was negative 1.67%.