The consumer confidence index slipped to 53.1 in September from an upwardly revised 54.5 last month, the Conference Board reported yesterday.

The August index was originally reported as 54.1. Economists polled by Thomson Reuters predicted it would rise to 57.0.

The present situation index fell to 22.7 from an upwardly revised 25.4, originally reported as 24.9, while the expectations index dipped to 73.3 from an upwardly revised 73.8 last month, originally seen as 73.5.

“Consumer confidence, which had improved in August, retreated slightly in September,” said Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board’s consumer research center. “The present situation index decreased, as consumers viewed both current business conditions and the labor market less favorably than last month. While not as pessimistic as earlier this year, consumers remain quite apprehensive about the short-term outlook and their incomes. With the holiday season quickly approaching, this is not very encouraging news.”

Business conditions were called “good” by 8.7% of respondents in September, an increase from 8.5% in August. Those saying conditions are “bad” grew to 46.3% from 44.6%.

The percentage of consumers expecting a pickup in business conditions in the next half year slid to 21.3% from 22.2%, while 15.0% said they expect conditions to worsen, down from 15.2% the month before.

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