U.S. Confidence Drops to 10-Month Low of 60.6 in August; Inflation Expectations Rise

August 28, 2012 11:11 AM EDT
Confidence from the U.S. consumer showed a surprise dip in August, as job prospects, rising energy prices, and healthcare uncertainty all continue to weigh.

Data from the Conference Board on Tuesday showed its confidence index fell to 60.6, from a revised lower 65.4 in July and expectations calling for a 65.7 reading. The 4.8 point drop was the largest since last October.

Other data from the Conference Board had the measure of present conditions at 45.8 in August, from 45.9. Expectations for the next six-months fell from 78.4 down to 70.5 in August.

Rising gasoline prices may also have contributed to expectations of greater inflation over the next several months.

For the next half year, the percentage of respondents saying they expected more jobs to become available fell from 17.6 percent down to 15.4 percent. Correspondingly, those saying they expected their income to rise increased to 16. percent in August, from 14.9 percent last month.

On the glum report, U.S. markets are largely lower: the DJIA is off 1.7 points, the S&P is down 0.7 points, and the Nasdaq is 1.8 points lower.

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