America

Consumer Confidence Slips

Anxiety about the job market, inflation and the general economic outlook combined to push down consumer confidence in May, the private Conference Board business research group just reported.

It's Consumer Confidence Index slipped to 60.8 from 66 in April.

Lynn Franco, director of the group's Consumer Research Center, says in a statement released with the report that:

"Consumers are considerably more apprehensive about future business and labor market conditions as well as their income prospects. Inflation concerns, which had eased last month, have picked up once again. On the other hand, consumers' assessment of current conditions declined only modestly, suggesting no significant pickup or deterioration in the pace of growth."

Confidence readings are watched closely because consumers purchase about 70 percent of all goods and services — meaning that their demand is the key economic driver.

There was other not-so-good economic news this morning: "Home Prices At 'New Recession Low.' "

Our colleagues at Planet Money follow the economic news over here.

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