Confidence Index turns south

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index declined to its lowest level since November 2011, hitting a reading of 60.6 in August.

The Consumer Confidence Index fell in August to 60.6, down from a revised 65.4 in July. The latest figure marks the lowest index reading since November 2011.

"A more pessimistic outlook was the primary reason for this month's decline in confidence,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, which produces the index. “Consumers were more apprehensive about business and employment prospects, but more optimistic about their financial prospects despite rising inflation expectations. Consumers' assessment of current conditions was virtually unchanged, suggesting no significant pickup or deterioration in the pace of growth."

Consumers' assessment of current conditions was little changed in August. Those claiming business conditions are "good" improved to 15.2% from 13.7%, while those saying business conditions are "bad" was unchanged at 34.4%.

The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months declined to 16.5% from 19.0%, while those anticipating business conditions will worsen increased to 17.7% from 15.1%.