Job Worries Keep Consumer Confidence Down

Originally published on June 28, 2011 10:22 am

A private research group reported Tuesday that U.S. consumers' confidence declined to a seven-month low as job worries increased.

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index slipped to 58.5 in June, down from a revised 61.7 in May. Economists had expected the figure to edge up to 61. The results follow an almost six-point drop from May to April, which had marked a six-month low.

A reading of 90 indicates a healthy economy on the index, which measures how Americans feel about business conditions, the job market and the next six months. Economists carefully monitor consumer confidence because consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of economic activity.

"Consumers rated both current business and labor market conditions less favorably than in May, and fewer consumers than last month foresee conditions improving over the next six months," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center.

Consumers were less worried about inflation but they were more concerned about their income prospects, she said.

"Given the combination of uneasiness about the economic outlook and future earnings, consumers are likely to continue weighing their spending decisions quite carefully," Franco added.

Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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