Confidence among U.S. consumers unexpectedly declined in September to a four-month low as Americans’ views of the labor market deteriorated.
The Conference Board’s index decreased to 86 this month, weaker than the most pessimistic forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists, from an August reading of 93.4 that was the strongest since October 2007, the New York-based private research group said today. The median forecast called for 92.5. The monthly decline was the biggest since October, when a partial shutdown of the federal government weighed on confidence.
Sentiment may have trouble advancing to higher levels without faster income growth that’s sustained over time, one part of the labor market that has been lagging behind. At the same time, gains this year in payrolls and higher stock prices will probably help keep household spending, which makes up almost 70 percent of the economy, from faltering.