June 30, 2009

Consumer confidence turns lower

The Conference Board said Tuesday its monthly index of consumer confidence in the United States fell slightly in June following two months of sharp gains.

June's 49.3 level was sightly below May, when consumer confidence hit the year's peak at 54.8.

The Present Situation Index fell from 29.7 to 24.8 in the month, while the Expectations Index dropped from 71.5 to 65.5.

The monthly index is derived from a survey of 5,000 households taken early in the month. It uses 1985 as the base year, giving that year a value of 100.

The decline in the Present Situation Index, caused by a less favorable assessment of business conditions and employment, continues to imply that economic conditions, while not as weak as earlier this year, are nonetheless weak, said Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board Consumer Research Center.

Looking ahead, expectations continue to suggest less negative conditions in the months ahead, as opposed to strong growth, Franco said.

In the month, respondents indicating business conditions were good fell from 8.8 percent to 8 percent, while those indicating business conditions are bad rose from 44.5 percent to 45.6 percent.