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Consumer confidence weakens in May

Survey suggests little likelihood of immediate turnaround

Consumer confidence deteriorated further in May as weak business and job conditions coupled with growing pessimism about the short-term future further depleted consumers' confidence in the overall state of the economy, The Conference Board reported today. The Consumer Confidence Index fell to 57.2 -- a 16-year low -- down from 62.3 in April. The Present Situation Index registered 74.4, down from 81.9. The Expectations Index fell to 45.7, compared with 50 in April. "Consumers' inflation expectations, fueled by increasing prices at the pump, are now at an all-time high and are likely to rise further in the months ahead," Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, said in a statement. "As for the short-term outlook, the Expectations Index suggests little likelihood of a turnaround in the immediate months ahead." Consumers' appraisal of current conditions grew more pessimistic in May, with the percentage of those claiming b...