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Consumer confidence slips in September


New York City U.S. consumer confidence fell unexpectedly in September as the worst job prospects in 26 years fueled worries over personal finances, according to a report released on Tuesday.

The Conference Board said its index of consumer attitudes fell to 53.1 in September from a revised 54.5 in August. Reflecting Americans' worries about employment prospects, the index measuring jobs "hard to get," rose to 47.0 from 44.3.

“Consumer confidence, which had improved in August, retreated slightly in September,” said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. “The Present Situation Index decreased, as consumers viewed both current business conditions and the labor market less favorably than last month. While not as pessimistic as earlier this year, consumers remain quite apprehensive about the short-term outlook and their incomes. With the holiday season quickly approaching, this is not very encouraging news."

Consumers' assessment of current conditions was less favorable in September. Those claiming business conditions are "bad" increased to 46.3% from 44.6% while those claiming conditions are "good" increased to 8.7% from 8.5%.

Consumers' appraisal of the job market was also less favorable. Those claiming jobs are "hard to get" increased to 47.0% from 44.3%, while those claiming jobs are "plentiful" decreased to 3.4% from 4.3%.

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