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Archive for Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Consumer confidence loses ground this month

May 31, 2006

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— Consumer confidence soured in May, as Americans fretted about the overall economy's future and the job outlook. The drop in a widely watched barometer of sentiment was the steepest since hurricanes pummeled the Gulf Coast last year, increasing worries about the health of consumer spending.

The New York-based Conference Board said Tuesday its consumer confidence index fell almost seven points to 103.2, down from the revised 109.8 in April. Still, May's reading was better than the 100.9 expected by analysts.

The decline stalled a rebound seen since November in the aftermath of last year's Gulf of Mexico hurricanes, which sent the index down 18 points in September. The exception was a dip in February when short-lived pessimism over the job market hurt consumer sentiment.

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