"Consumers' assessment of present-day conditions has grown less favorable, with labor market conditions playing a major role in this grimmer assessment," said Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board Research Center.
The composite index, which assigns confidence levels of 1985 a value of 100, dropped from 53.4 in September to 47.7 in October. The Present Situation index fell from 23 to 20.7 in the month, while the Expectations Index, measuring confidence in the future, dropped from 73.7 to 65.7.
Respondents to the monthly survey of 5,000 U.S. adults indicating jobs were "hard to get" rose from 47 percent to 49.6 percent. Those indicating jobs were "easy to get" dropped from 3.6 percent to 3.4 percent.
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