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US consumer confidence slips

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US consumer confidence fell for a fourth straight month in November amid worries about current business conditions and employment prospects, but remained at levels sufficient to support a steady pace of consumer spending.

[WASHINGTON] US consumer confidence fell for a fourth straight month in November amid worries about current business conditions and employment prospects, but remained at levels sufficient to support a steady pace of consumer spending.

The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index slipped to a reading of 125.5 this month from an upwardly revised 126.1 in October. The index was previously reported at 125.9 in September. It has declined for four straight months.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the index would climb to 127.0 in November.

The survey's present situation measure, based on consumers' assessment of current business and labour market conditions, fell to 166.9 this month from 173.5 in October.

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The expectations index drawn from consumers' short-term outlook for income, business and labour market conditions rose to 97.9 from 94.5 last month.

Consumer confidence has retreated from a recent peak of 137.9 in October 2018. The 16-month trade war between the United States and China, which has bruised business sentiment, leading to a drop in capital expenditure that has contributed to a downturn in manufacturing, has been mainly blamed for the slide in consumer confidence.

Still the confidence index remains relatively high.

The Conference Board survey's so-called labor market differential, derived from data on respondents' views on whether jobs are plentiful or hard to get, fell to 32.1 in November from 36.1 in October. That measure closely correlates to the unemployment rate in the Labour Department's employment report.

REUTERS