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Consumer confidence down in May

Consumer confidence dropped in May, according to a report this morning from The Conference Board.

The index stands at 60.8, down from 66 in April. The Present Situation Index decreased to 39.3 from 40.2. The Expectations Index declined to 75.2 from 83.2 last month.

“A more pessimistic outlook is the primary reason for this month’s decline in consumer confidence. Consumers are considerably more apprehensive about future business and labor market conditions, as well as their income prospects. Inflation concerns, which had eased last month, have picked up once again,” said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, in a statement.

“On the other hand, consumers’ assessment of current conditions declined only modestly, suggesting no significant pickup or deterioration in the pace of growth,” Franco added.

Those who said business conditions are “good” decreased to 14.6 percent from 15.5 percent, and those who said business conditions are “bad” increased to 37.1 percent from 35.9 percent. Consumers’ appraisal of the labor market was also less favorable than it was last month. Those who said jobs are “hard to get” increased to 43.9 percent from 42.4 percent, and those who said jobs are “plentiful” increased to 5.6 percent from 5.1 percent.

Consumers’ short-term outlook, which had improved marginally in April, turned pessimistic in May. The proportion of consumers who expect business conditions to improve during the next six months declined to 17 percent from 19.2 percent. Those who anticipate that business conditions will worsen increased to 15.5 percent from 14 percent.

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