The consumer confidence index declined to 64.9 in May from a downwardly revised 68.7 in April, the Conference Board reported Tuesday.
The present situation index slid to 45.9 from a downwardly revised 51.2, originally reported as 51.4, while the expectations index fell to 77.6 from a downwardly revised 80.4, originally reported as 81.1.
Economists polled by Thomson Reuters predicted a 70.0 reading for the index.
“Consumer confidence fell in May, following a slight decline in April,” said Lynn Franco, director of board’s Consumer Research Center. “Consumers were less positive about current business and labor market conditions, and they were more pessimistic about the short-term outlook. However, consumers were more upbeat about their income prospects, which should help sustain spending. Taken together, the retreat in the present situation index and softening in consumer expectations suggest that the pace of economic growth in the months ahead may moderate.”
Business conditions were called “good” by 13.6% of respondents in May, down from 15.5% in April. Those saying conditions are “bad” rose to 34.3% from 33.2%.
On the jobs front, those who believe jobs are “plentiful” fell to 7.9% in May from 8.4% in April, while the number saying jobs are “hard to get” increased to 41.0% from 38.1%. The respondents who see fewer jobs becoming available in a half year increased to 21.0% from 18.4%. Those expecting more jobs to become available slipped to 15.8% from 16.9%, the board reported.