US consumer confidence unexpectedly plunges

Consumer confidence unexpectedly plunged.

The latest reading on consumer confidence from The Conference Board fell to 92.6 in May.

Economists were expecting the headline index rise to 96.3, according to the Bloomberg consensus.

The previous month saw the index fall more than expected to 94.2.

“Expectations declined further, as consumers remain cautious about the outlook for business and labour market conditions. Thus, they continue to expect little change in economic activity in the months ahead,” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board.

Consumers’ feelings about current conditions weakened in May. The percentage of those saying business conditions are “bad” increased to 21.6% from 18.2%, and the proportion of folks claiming jobs are “hard to get” increased to 24.4% from 22.8%.

Moreover, consumers were also feeling less positive about the short-term outlook. Those expecting business conditions to worsen in the next six months rose to 11.6% from 10.8%.

And finally, while the percentage of respondents who are anticipate more jobs in the upcoming months was basically unchanged at 12.8%, the percentage of those anticipating less jobs rose to 18.1% from 16.7%.

However, on the positive side, the percentage of people saying business conditions are good improved to 25.9% from 24.2%, and those expecting business conditions to improve in the next six months increase to 15.1% from 13.8%.

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