Consumers unexpectedly turned pessimistic in May, after losing confidence that the economy is showing signs of improvement.

 

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index fell to 60.8 from 66 in April. Both components of the Index declined, with the Present Situations portion dipping to 39.3 from 40.2 and the Expectations Index falling to 75.2 from 83.2.

 

Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, said, “A more pessimistic outlook is the primary reason for this month’s decline in consumer confidence. Consumers are considerably more apprehensive about future business and labor market conditions as well as their income prospects. Inflation concerns, which had eased last month, have picked up once again.”

 

Consumers were also pessimistic about their outlook for the labor market over the next six months. Respondents who expect more jobs ahead decreased to 15.9 percent from 17.8 percent, while those who said they anticipate fewer jobs rose to 20.8 percent from 18.7 percent.

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