The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, released this morning, fell again in September, down to 99.8 (1985=100) from 105.6 in August. The Present Situation Index decreased to 121.7 from 130.1. The Expectations Index declined to 85.2 from 89.2.

Consumers' appraisal of current-day conditions waned further in September, with those claiming conditions are "good" down to 25.7% from 26.2% and those saying conditions are "bad" up to 17.9% from 16.3%. The percentage of consumers saying jobs are "hard to get" increased to 22.1% from 19.7% in August. Those claiming jobs are "plentiful" decreased to 25.7% from 27.5%.

Consumers anticipating business conditions to worsen during the next six months rose to 11.8% from 10.2%. However, those anticipating business conditions to improve edged up to 15.6% from 15.0%. Consumers expecting more jobs in the months ahead inched up to 13.3% from 12.9%: those expecting fewer jobs increased to 18.7% from 15.2%. Consumers expecting their incomes to increase rose to 20.4% from 19.85.

Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, said, "The Consumer Confidence Index is now at its lowest level in nearly two years (Nov. 2005, 98.3). Weaker business conditions combined with a less favorable job market continue to cast a cloud over consumers and heighten their sense of uncertainty and concern. Looking ahead, little economic improvement is expected and with the holiday season around the corner this is not welcome news."

The Consumer Confidence Survey is based on a sample of 5,000 U.S.households.