Consumers were less confident about the short-term outlook for both jobs and earnings in September.

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index dipped slightly in September to 79.7 from 81.8 last month. While the present situation index rose to 73.2 from 70.9, the expectations component of the index fell to 84.1 from 89 in August.

Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators, said, "While overall economic conditions appear to have moderately improved, consumers are uncertain that the momentum can be sustained in the months ahead."

Consumers are more positive about the jobs market as far as present-day conditions are concerned, with those saying jobs are plentiful rising slightly to 11.5 percent from 11.3 percent.

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When it came to their short-term outlook six months out, consumers were more pessimistic about the jobs front. Those who anticipated more jobs ahead fell to 16.9 percent from 17.5 percent. That's even though the respondents also said their expectations for future business conditions were essentially unchanged.

Those who said they expect business conditions to improve over the next six months edged up to 20.9 percent from 20.6 percent, while respondents who expected conditions to worsen were essentially the same at 11 percent in both August and September.

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