U.S. Consumers Not So Confident

Weak business, labor and financial markets are to blame

In August, U.S. consumer confidence took a hit amid financial market turbulence and indications of weaker business and labor market conditions, the Conference Board said. The business research firm said its consumer confidence index slipped to 105.0 from 111.9 in July.

"A softening in business conditions and labor market conditions has curbed consumers' confidence this month," said Lynn Franco, the group's research director. "In addition, the volatility in financial markets and continued subprime housing woes may have played a role in dampening consumers' spirits. But despite less favorable conditions and in spite of all the recent turmoil, consumers still remain confident. And current index levels suggest further economic growth in the months ahead."

In the survey, the percentage of those claiming conditions were "good" fell to 26.4% from 28.3% and those saying conditions were "bad" rose to 16.3% from 14.5%.

The percentage who said jobs are "plentiful" dropped to 27.5% from 30% in July while respondents saying jobs are "hard to get" increased to 19.7% from 18.7%.

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