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The Conference Board reported that its consumer confidence index dropped from 105.7 in July to 98.2 in August, a greater drop than most economists had predicted. It was the first time in four months that the confidence index has declined.

In addition, the Conference Board’s “present situation index” fell to 100.7 from 106.4, while the “expectations index” fell to 96.6 from 105.3.

Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board's Consumer Research Center, said in a statement, “The level of consumer optimism has fallen off and caution has returned. Until the job market and pace of hiring picks up, this cautious attitude will prevail.”

Consumers who said jobs were hard to get during August was 25.8 percent, a slight change from July’s 25.7 percent, though the number of consumers who said jobs are plentiful decreased to 18.1 percent from 19.7 percent.

At the same time, the Commerce Department reports that personal consumer spending grew 0.8 percent in July, recovering from a 0.2 percent decline in June – suggesting that consumers’ economic concerns could be easing. Consumer spending accounts for about two-thirds of economic activity.
KC's View:
Go figure.

Someone once said that “an economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn't happen today.”