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Consumer confidence worsens

Survey: Stocks, oil, incomes fuel worry

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Consumer confidence dropped for the fourth straight month in November as Americans grew more pessimistic about business conditions, jobs and gas prices, The Conference Board reported today. The Consumer Confidence Index, based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households, declined to 87.3 this month from 95.2 in October, taken lower by the Expectations Index component, which slid during the period from 80 to 68.7 on a disappointing outlook for jobs and incomes. "This month's deterioration in confidence was due primarily to the sharp decline in the Expectations Index," Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, said in a press statement. "Consumers' apprehension about the short-term outlook is being fueled by volatility in financial markets, rising prices at the pump and the likelihood of larger home heating bills this winter. In fact, consumers' inflation expectations have surpassed the spike experienced this spring, and a larger percentage than last...