NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Americans were feeling less confident about the state of the economy in June.
Consumer confidence dropped to a reading of 58.5 in June, down from 60.8 in May, according to a survey by the Conference Board Consumer Research Center.
"Inflation fears eased considerably in June, but concerns about income prospects increased," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, in the group's report.
Economists were bracing for a drop in confidence since the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index already showed a fall-off in sentiment in mid-June. However, analysts were looking for June's reading from the Conference Board to come in slightly better at 59 points, according to Briefing.com.
Alan Gayle, chief investment strategist at RidgeWorth Investments, says the tick down in confidence reflects myriad challenges including "sluggish job gains in recent months, weak home values, and a perception of disarray in Washington surrounding important policy initiatives." Given the recent drop in gas prices, the low confidence numbers are disappointing, he added.
However, some analysts were more upbeat. "Consumers are worried but they're not panicking," said Peter Cardillo, chief markets economist at Avalon Partners. "We're not seeing these numbers actually plunge."
Consumers had already started to complain about the labor market in May, with more people saying jobs are "hard to get." In addition, consumers are continuing to turn more pessimistic in both their short- and long-term outlook on business conditions. May's reading of 60.8 was down 66 in April.
Unfortunately, the data points might not get better soon. The Conference Board said that Americans are expecting more negative sentiment. The reading on expectations for consumer confidence dropped to 72.4 in June. That's down from 76.7 in May, which was down from 83.2 in April.
-- Written by Chao Deng in New York.
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