Consumer Confidence Declines Again in May

Dip Is the Fourth in Five Months
Shopper at Target
Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News

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Consumer confidence fell in May as Americans became more pessimistic about the labor market, on top of elevated anxiety over inflation.

The Conference Board reported May 30 that its consumer confidence index fell to 102.3 in May from 103.7 in April. It’s the fourth time in five months that overall U.S. consumer confidence has declined.

The business research group’s present situation index — which measures consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions — fell to 148.6 from 151.8 last month.

The board’s expectations index — a measure of consumers’ six-month outlook for income, business and labor conditions — inched down to 71.5 this month from 71.7 in April.

A reading under 80 often signals a recession in the coming year. The Conference Board noted that reading has come in below 80 every month but one since February 2022.

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