Consumer Confidence Index falls below 50

The closely watched Consumer Confidence Index fell to 48.5 in September, down from a downwardly revised 53.2 reading in August, according to the New York City-based Conference Board.

The Present Situation Index decreased to 23.1 from 24.9. The Expectations Index declined to 65.4 from 72.0 last month.

“September’s pull-back in confidence was due to less favorable business and labor market conditions, coupled with a more pessimistic short-term outlook," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. "Overall, consumers’ confidence in the state of the economy remains quite grim. And, with so few expecting conditions to improve in the near term, the pace of economic growth is not likely to pick up in the coming months.”