The Conference Board today reported that its Consumer Confidence Index, which had increased in April, fell in May to 103.2, down from 109.8 in April. The Present Situation Index decreased to 132.5 from 136.2. The Expectations Index fell to 83.7 from 92.3. "Consumer confidence, which reached a four-year high in April, lost ground in May," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. "Apprehension about the short-term outlook for the economy, the labor market and consumers' earning potential has driven the Expectations Index down to levels not seen since the aftermath of the hurricanes last summer. In sharp contrast, consumers continue to rate current conditions favorably, although the Present Situation Index also lost ground this month. Looking ahead, the Expectations Index bears close watching, as it is often a harbinger of times to come." Consumers' overall assessment of current conditions eased but remains favorable. Consumers claiming conditions a...
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