American consumers are coming into autumn a little less confident than they were at the height of summer.
The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index fell in September to a reading of 125.1, down from 134.2 in August. Economists had been expecting a much shallower dip to 133. The guage was sharply up in July.
Both views of current business and labor market conditions and short-term outlooks for income, business and labor market conditions declined in September.
“The escalation in trade and tariff tensions in late August appears to have rattled consumers. ,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “However, this pattern of uncertainty and volatility has persisted for much of the year and it appears confidence is plateauing.”
The share of consumers claiming business conditions are “good” fell from 40.9 percent to 37.3 percent, while those saying business conditions are “bad” rose from 9.9 percent to 12.7 percent. Consumers’ assessment of the job market also soured somewhat. Those saying jobs are “plentiful” declined from 50.3 percent to 44.8 percent, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” also declined slightly from 12.0 percent to 11.6 percent.