American consumers felt less confident in June, shaken by the escalation in the U.S.-China trade war earlier in the month.
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The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index slipped this month to 121.5, the business research group said on Tuesday, down from 131.3 in May. It was the first time in three months that consumer confidence fell in the U.S.
“Although the Index remains at a high level, continued uncertainty could result in further volatility in the Index and, at some point, could even begin to diminish consumers’ confidence in the expansion,” said Lynn Franco, the senior director of economic indicators at the Conference Board.
The index measures how optimistic or pessimistic consumers are about the state of the economy; if consumers are confident, they tend to spend more money on goods.
Consumers also said they were worried about the labor market. With a decades-low unemployment rate of 3.6 percent (and measly job creation in May, with only 75,000 added to the U.S. economy), consumers’ were less upbeat about the state of the jobs market.
Those saying jobs were “plentiful” fell to 44 percent from 45.3 percent, while those claiming jobs are “hard to find” rose to 16.4 percent from 11.8 percent. Plus, those expecting more jobs to come in the months ahead decreased to 17.3 percent from 18.4 percent.
U.S stocks fell slightly after the data was released.