Consumer confidence sluggish in September

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The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index remained essentially unchanged in September after declining sharply in August.

The index now stands at 45.4, up slightly from 45.2 in August. The Present Situation Index decreased to 32.5 from 34.3. The Expectations Index edged up to 54 from 52.4 last month.

“The pessimism that shrouded consumers last month has spilled over into September. Consumer expectations, which had plummeted in August, posted a marginal gain. However, consumers expressed greater concern about their expected earnings, a sign that does not bode well for spending,” Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, said in a statement.

“In addition, consumers’ assessment of current conditions declined for the fifth consecutive month, a sign that the economic environment remains weak,” Franco added.

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