Consumer Confidence Plunges in August to Its Lowest Level in 9 Months

The Conference Board said Tuesday its consumer confidence index fell to a reading of 99.6, down from 107.0 in July. The index was lower than analysts' expectation of 102.5. The last time the index fell below 100 was in November, to 98.3. The Consumer Confidence Survey is based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households.

Consumer confidence has been volatile this year, with rising interest rates, high energy prices and fighting in the Middle East. 

The Conference Board's present situation index, which measures how respondents feel about current economic conditions, plummeted to 123.4 in August from 134.2 in July.

The expectations index, which gauges consumers' outlook over the next six months, dropped to 83.8 in August from 88.9 a month earlier.

Consumers saying jobs are "plentiful" decreased to 24.4 percent from 28.6 percent, while those claiming jobs are "hard to get" increased to 21.1 percent from 19.6 in July.

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