Business

Consumer confidence slips amid worries about economic outlook

WASHINGTON -- Consumer confidence slipped this month from a post-Great Recession high as Americans expressed more concerns about the short-term outlook for jobs and wages, the Conference Board said Tuesday.

The group's index dropped to 79.7 in September, from an upwardly revised 81.8 reading the previous month. The August level was the highest since early 2008.

Economists had been expecting the index for September to be at 80.

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"While overall economic conditions appear to have moderately improved, consumers are uncertain that the momentum can be sustained in the months ahead," said Lynn Franco, the group's director of economic indicators.

Consumers were more upbeat about current economic conditions this month, the group said, but that was offset by concerns about the outlook for the labor market and personal income for the next six months amid battles in Washington over the federal budget and the nation's debt limit.

Survey respondents anticipating the economy would have fewer jobs in the coming months increased to 19.7%, from 17.2%. Those expecting to see an increase in their paychecks dropped to 15.4%, from 17.5%.

Also Tuesday, polling firm Gallup said its Economic Confidence Index dropped last week to its lowest level since March.

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