After making marginal progress in August, the Consumer Confidence Index dipped back down to 79.7 in September, according to The Conference Board.
Though September's figures are down from August's upwardly revised metric of 81.8, they still demonstrate substantial year-over-year growth compared with September 2012, when consumer confidence was at 68.4.
“Consumer confidence decreased in September as concerns about the short-term outlook for both jobs and earnings resurfaced, while expectations for future business conditions were little changed," said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators. "Consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions, however, was more positive. While overall economic conditions appear to have moderately improved, consumers are uncertain that the momentum can be sustained in the months ahead.”
The Present Situation Index experienced a boost to 73.2 from 70.9. Those who viewed business conditions as "good" increased to 19.5% from 18.7%, with a corresponding decrease in those viewing conditions as "bad." More people also deemed jobs "plentiful," but only by a margin of 0.2%. More significantly, those saying jobs are "hard to get" were at a five-year low of 32.7%.
Meanwhile, the Expectations Index fell to 84.1 from 89.0. More consumers (0.3%) expected business conditions to improve over the next six months, but the number of people expecting them to worsen was more or less unchanged at 11.0%. The decrease in expectations was largely a reflection of fewer respondents expecting an increase in jobs in income.