The Expectations Index, however, rose from 92.9 to 93.3.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 NFO WorldGroup, a member of The Interpublic Group of Companies.
Consumers are now less optimistic about ongoing economic conditions than they were in July. More families say current business conditions are ``bad'' -- 14.9 percent now, compared with 14.6 percent a month ago. Those rating conditions as ``good'' declined slightly, from 28.5 percent to 28.2 percent. But the job market has begun to unsettle consumers. Those claiming jobs were ``hard to get'' rose from 14.1 percent to 15.9 percent. Those reporting jobs were ``plentiful'' fell from 35.6 percent to 33.4 percent.
Those expecting an improvement in business conditions increased from 17.2 percent to 18.9 percent. The percentage of consumers expecting economic conditions to weaken declined from 11.2 percent to 10.7 percent.
The employment outlook for the next six months was mixed. Currently, 16 percent of consumers expect more jobs to become available, up from 15 percent last month. But those expecting fewer jobs through the end of this year advanced from 16.4 percent to 17.8 percent.