By John S. McClenahen Like its index of U.S. leading economic indicators, the Conference Board's consumer confidence index is in decline. This month, for the second consecutive month, the index posted a loss, falling to 92.8 (1985=100) from 96.7 in September. "Subdued expectations, as opposed to eroding present-day conditions, were the major cause behind October's decline in consumer confidence," says Lynn Franco, director of the Consumer Research Center at the Conference Board, a New York-based business research group. "And, while consumers' assessment of the labor market this month showed a moderate improvement, the gain was not sufficient to ease concerns about job growth in the months ahead." Indeed, consumers expecting fewer jobs to become available during the next few months rose to 18.4% in October from 16.2% in September, while those anticipating more jobs available edged downward to 16.5% in this month from 17.8% last month.