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September 24, 2019 1:30 PM, EDT

Consumer Confidence Declines by Most in Nine Months

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U.S. consumer confidence posted the biggest drop since the start of the year as Americans’ expectations for the economy and the job market deteriorated, posing a risk to the household spending that is underpinning growth.

The Conference Board’s index decreased in September to a three-month low of 125.1 from a downwardly revised 134.2 a month earlier, according to data from the New York-based group. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for 133. Both the present situation and expectations gauges declined, with the latter dropping to the lowest level since January.

U.S. stocks pared gains and Treasury yields fell after the report. Trade-war concerns and the economic impact are filtering through to Americans’ sentiment at the same time as businesses contend with fragile global growth and supply-chain challenges tied to uncertainty over tariffs.

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The overall measure remains elevated and within the range of the past year, suggesting consumers will continue to support the record-long U.S. expansion, though spending may moderate.

The share of respondents who say jobs are currently plentiful dropped to a three-month low, while the share saying jobs are hard to get cooled.