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News / Business

US consumer confidence tumbles in September as American anxiety about the future grows

By MATT OTT, AP Business Writer
Published: September 26, 2023, 8:30am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The confidence of American consumers slipped this month, particularly about the future, as expectations persist that interest rates will remain elevated for an extended period.

The Conference Board, a business research group, said Tuesday that its consumer confidence index fell to 103 in September from 108.7 in August. Analysts were expecting a smaller decrease, to a reading of 105.

The index measures both Americans’ assessment of current economic conditions and their outlook for the next six months.

Most troubling was the decline in the index measuring future expectations, which tumbled to 73.7 in September from 83.3 in August. Readings below 80 for future expectations historically signal a recession within a year.

Consumers’ view of current conditions ticked up slightly to 147.1 from 146.7.

Consumer spending accounts for around 70% of U.S. economic activity, so economists and investors pay close attention to consumers’ mood to gauge how it may affect the broader economy.

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