Consumer confidence slipped in February

Feb. 25, 2014 at 10:57 AM
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NEW YORK, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Consumer confidence in the U.S. economy slipped after two months of gains, the Conference Board said Tuesday.

The index, which slipped September through November and rose December and January, dropped from 79.4 to 78.1, shifting lower as a second frigid month's economic data was dominated by disappointing fresh job numbers out of Washington.

The index assigns the average 1985 level a base level of 100.

The Conference Board's Expectations Index also fell, dropping from 80.8 to 75.7. The Present Conditions Index, however, rose from 77.3 to 81.7.

"Consumer confidence declined ... on concerns over the short-term outlook for business conditions, jobs, and earnings," said Conference Board director of Economic Indicators Lynn Franco.

"Current conditions have continued to trend upward and the Present Situation Index is now at its highest level in almost six years. This suggests that consumers believe the economy has improved, but they do not foresee it gaining considerable momentum in the months ahead," Franco said.

In the monthly survey that involved more than 5,000 households, the percentage of respondents who indicated they believe business conditions were "good" rose from 20.8 percent to 21.5 percent, while those indicating a belief that business conditions were "bad" decreased from 23.4 percent to 22.6 percent.

The percentage of respondents indicating jobs were "plentiful," rose from 12.5 percent to 13.9 percent, while those indicating jobs were difficult to get fell from 32.7 percent to 32.5 percent.

February was the fourth consecutive month respondents indicated that current business conditions had improved, the Conference Board said.

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