The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had declined in August, fell further in September. The Index now stands at 99.8 (1985=100), down from 105.6 in August.

In addition, the Present Situation Index decreased to 121.7 from 130.1. The Expectations Index declined to 85.2 from 89.2

"The Consumer Confidence Index is now at its lowest level in nearly two years (Nov. 2005, 98.3),” says Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. “ Weaker business conditions combined with a less favorable job market continue to cast a cloud over consumers and heighten their sense of uncertainty and concern. Looking ahead, little economic improvement is expected and with the holiday season around the corner this is not welcome news."

Consumers' appraisal of current-day conditions waned further in September. Those claiming conditions are "good" decreased from 26.2 percent to 25.7 percent, while those who say conditions are "bad" increased from 16.3 percent to 17.9 percent. Consumers were also less positive in their appraisal of the labor market. The percentage of consumers saying jobs are "hard to get" increased from 19.7 percent to 22.1 percent. Those claiming jobs are "plentiful" decreased from 27.5 percent to 25.7 percent.

Consumers' expectations for the next six months weakened further in September. Those anticipating business conditions to worsen rose from 10.2 percent to 11.8 percent. However, those anticipating business conditions to improve edged up from 15 percent to 15.6 percent.

The Consumer Confidence Survey is based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households. The monthly survey is conducted for The Conference Board by TNS. TNS is the world's largest custom research company. The cutoff date for September's preliminary results was September 18th.

The Conference Board