The consumer confidence index declined again in May, dropping to 57.2 from an upwardly revised 62.8 last month, the Conference Board reported yesterday.

The April index reading was originally reported as 62.3.

Economists polled by IFR Markets predicted the index would slip to 60.0.

The present situation index fell to 74.4 from an upwardly revised 81.9, originally reported as 80.7, while the expectations index decreased to 45.7 from a downwardly revised 50.0 last month, originally reported as 50.1.

“The consumer confidence index now stands at a 16-year low (October 1992, 54.6),” said Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board’s consumer research center. “Weakening business and job conditions coupled with growing pessimism about the short-term future have further depleted consumers’ confidence in the overall state of the economy. 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. As for the short-term outlook, the expectations index suggests little likelihood of a turnaround in the immediate months ahead.”

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