More mixed signals from a squirrely economy: The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index fell in September by more than a full point, from 54.5 in August to 53.1 this month. The Conference Board reports:
Consumers' assessment of current conditions was less favorable in September. Those claiming business conditions are "bad" increased to 46.3 percent from 44.6 percent, while those claiming conditions are "good" increased to 8.7 percent from 8.5 percent. Consumers' appraisal of the job market was also less favorable. Those claiming jobs are "hard to get" increased to 47.0 percent from 44.3 percent, while those claiming jobs are "plentiful" decreased to 3.4 percent from 4.3 percent.
Americans' outlook on the labor market is as stagnant as the labor market itself. The Conference Board says the survey results could spell bad news for retailers in the upcoming holiday shopping season.
Meanwhile, German consumer confidence hit a 16-month high this week.