The Conference Board consumer confidence index, which had improved moderately in August, posted a slight gain in September. The index now stands at 59.8, up from 58.5 in August. The present situation index decreased to 58.8 from 65.0 last month. The expectations index, however, increased to 60.5 from 54.1 in August.
Consumers’ appraisal of current conditions eroded further in September. Those saying business conditions are “bad” increased to 34.2% from 32.7%, while those claiming business conditions are “good” declined to 12.5% from 13.7% last month. Consumers’ assessment of the labor market continues to deteriorate. Those saying jobs are “hard to get” rose to 32.8% from 31.7% in August, while those claiming jobs are “plentiful” decreased to 12.2% from 13.5%.