The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had improved in August, retreated in September. The index now stands at 48.5, down from 53.2 in August. The Present Situation Index decreased to 23.1 from 24.9. The Expectations Index declined to 65.4 from 72.0 last month.
"September's pullback 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, in a statement. "Overall, consumers' confidence in the state of the economy remains quite grim. And with so few expecting conditions to improve in the near term, the pace of economic growth is not likely to pick up in the coming months."