Consumers shifted toward polar ends of the confidence spectrum during the first half of this month, according to data released today by The Conference Board. While consumer confidence nudged down by 1.4 points, the dip was the result of a 5.4 point decline in future conditions. The present condition index was up 4.6 points.

The percentage of respondents who described business conditions as "good" increased to 14.3% from 13.7% last month. However, the percentage of respondents who labeled business conditions as "bad" also grew, increasing to 32.7% from 31.7%. The group of respondents describing jobs as "plentiful" was up to 9.4% from 7.0%, while those describing jobs as "hard to get" also gained, going from 38.6% to 41.0%.

Interestingly, while the number of respondents who feel more jobs will be available in six months declined, the number of Americans who reported that they are considering purchasing a car, home, or major appliance within the next six months improved.

"However," wrote Patrick Newport, U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight, in a statement today, "rising gasoline prices are starting to take their toll on the consumer psyche, and there is often a disconnect between how people say they feel and what they do."

For The Conference Board’s full release discussing the numbers, click here.

Claire Easley is a senior editor at Builder.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Greenville, SC.