Consumer confidence drops in May

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The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index fell in May for the second straight month.

The index now stands at 64.9, down from 68.7 in April. The Expectations Index declined to 77.6, from 80.4, and the Present Situation Index decreased to 45.9 from 51.2 last month.

“Consumer confidence fell in May, following a slight decline in April,” Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, said in a statement.

“Consumers were less positive about current business and labor market conditions and they were more pessimistic about the short-term outlook. However, consumers were more upbeat about their income prospects, which should help sustain spending. Taken together, the retreat in the Present Situation Index and softening in consumer expectations suggest that the pace of economic growth in the months ahead may moderate.”

Consumers’ appraisal of present-day conditions deteriorated in May. Those who said business conditions are “bad” increased to 34.3 percent from 33.2 percent and those who said business conditions are “good” decreased to 13.6 percent from 15.5 percent.

Consumers’ appraisal of the job market also was less favorable. Those who said jobs are “hard to get” increased to 41 percent from 38.1 percent, and those who said jobs are “plentiful” decreased to 7.9 percent from 8.4 percent.

Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was also less positive. Those who expected more jobs in the months ahead decreased to 15.8 percent from 16.9 percent, and those who anticipated fewer jobs increased to 21 percent from 18.4 percent.

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