Consumer confidence falls to lowest since Feb

NEW YORK (BestGrowthStock) – September consumer confidence sagged to its lowest levels since February, driven by deteriorating labor market and business conditions, according to a private report released on Tuesday.

The Conference Board, an industry group, said its index of consumer attitudes fell to 48.5 in September from a revised 53.2 in August.

“September’s pull-back in confidence was due to less favorable business and labor market conditions, coupled with a more pessimistic short-term outlook,” said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center.

After the report’s release, safe haven Treasury debt prices securities gained, with the 30-year bond rising more than a point in price. The dollar and stocks extended losses.

“Overall, consumers’ confidence in the state of the economy remains quite grim,” Franco said.

The median of forecasts from analysts polled by Reuters was for a main September reading of 52.5. Forecasts ranged from 48.0 to 55.0.

The August reading was revised down slightly from an original 53.5.

Consumers’ labor market assessment worsened. The “jobs hard to get” index rose to 46.1 from 45.5, while the “jobs plentiful” index decreased to 3.8 from 4.0.

Inflation expectations eased slightly, even after the Federal Reserve has said it is ready to take action to keep yields down in an effort to stimulate growth. Consumers’ oneyear inflation expectations edged down to 4.9 percent from 5.0 percent the previous month.

The expectations index slipped to 65.4 from 72.0 last month.

The present situation index slipped to 23.1 from 24.9 in August.

(Reporting by John Parry and Wanfeng Zhou; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

Consumer confidence falls to lowest since Feb