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Consumer confidence missed big in August falling to 60.6.The reading is the lowest since November 2011. Meanwhile, July’s reading was revised down to 65.4.

“Consumers were more apprehensive about business and employment prospects, but more optimistic about their financial prospects despite rising inflation expectations,” according to Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board.

“Consumers’ assessment of current conditions was virtually unchanged, suggesting no significant pickup or deterioration in the pace of growth.”

But the number is still above 60, showing the report wasn’t a complete disaster. Here are some highlights from the report:

  • The per cent saying business conditions are “good” climbed to 15.2 per cent, from 13.7 per cent.
  • The per cent saying business conditions are “bad” was unchanged at 34.4 per cent.
  • The per cent saying jobs are “plentiful” fell to 7 per cent, from 7.8 per cent. 
  • The per cent saying jobs are “hard to get” eased to 40.7 per cent from 41 per cent.
  • The per cent of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months fell to 16.5 per cent, from 19 per cent.
  • The per cent jobs to increase in the months ahead declined to 15.4 per cent from 17.6 per cent.
  • The per cent expecting fewer jobs climbed to 23.4 per cent from 20.6 per cent.

This chart from Eric Platt shows consumer confidence is at its lowest since November 2011:

Consumer Confidence August

Photo: Eric Platt/Business Insider, Data: Conference Board

Expectations: The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index is expected to ease slightly to 65.8 in August, from 65.9 in July.

Economist Gary Shilling has long said that the U.S. economy is in a “consumer-led recession”.

While consumer confidence and consumer spending don’t necessarily track each other, investors watch the number to gauge where spending might go.

The survey polls 3,000 households across the country on their perceptions of current business and employment conditions and their expectations going six months into the future.

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