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U.S. Consumer Confidence Worsens

Consumers continue to grow increasingly more pessimistic about the short-term outlook.

As concerns over unemployment and business conditions loom, U.S. consumer confidence has deteriorated , according to the Conference Board.

A survey, released on July 27, showed that the group's consumers confidence index, which had declined sharply in June, retreated further this month. The index fell to 50.4 points from 54.3 last month, based on a survey of 5,000 households.

Most economists had expected the index to fall to 51.0 points in July.

"Consumer confidence faded further in July as consumers continue to grow increasingly more pessimistic about the short-term outlook," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board's consumer research center.

"Concerns about business conditions and the labor market are casting a dark cloud over consumers that is not likely to lift until the job market improves," Franco said.

The economy emerged from recession in the middle of last year but growth has slowed down with the unemployment rate running at a high 9.5%.

Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke warned the outlook for the U.S. economy was "unusually uncertain" on July 21, saying the central bank could step in if the recovery fails.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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