The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index posted a slight gain in September. The Index now stands at 59.8 (1985=100), up from 58.5 in August. The Present Situation Index decreased to 58.8 from 65.0 last month. The Expectations Index, however, increased to 60.5 from 54.1 in August.
However, consumers' appraisal of current conditions eroded further in September. Those saying business conditions are "bad" increased to 34.2% from 32.7%, while those claiming business onditions are "good" declined to 12.5% from 13.7 percent last month. Consumers' assessment of the
labor market continues to deteriorate. Those saying jobs are "hard to get" rose to 32.8% from 31.7%in August, while those claiming jobs are "plentiful" decreased to 12.2% from 13.5%.
Consumers' short-term outlook improved again, but overall remains grim. Those anticipating business conditions to worsen over the next six months declined to 21.3% from 25.2%, while those expecting conditions to improve rose to 13.5% from 12.0%.
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