Consumer confidence in the US economy showed an unexpected decline in May following a slight recovery in April, The Conference Board said Tuesday.
The Consumer Confidence Index, based on a monthly survey carried out for the Conference Board by The Nielsen Company, retreated this month to 60.8 points, compared with 66 in April.
The May reading, which was far from the 66.5 that analysts had forecast, was due to the more pessimistic expectations on the part of consumers, said the director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, Lynn Franco.
"A more pessimistic outlook is the primary reason for this month's decline in consumer confidence. Consumers are considerably more apprehensive about future business and labour market conditions as well as their income prospects," Franco said.
For that reason, the Expectations Sub-Index that measures consumer confidence in how the economic and labour situation will look six months from now fell to 75.2 points in May, compared with 83.2 last month.
The Present Situation Sub-Index that measures consumer confidence in the current economic and jobs panorama dipped slightly this month from 40.2 points to 39.3.
These indicators take as a level of reference the 100 points that set the standard in 1985 and is calculated from surveys taken among 5,000 US homes.