Consumer confidence fell four points in June, the largest monthly drop for the index since the one following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Conference Board, a private research group, said on Tuesday.
Amid concerns about the employment outlook and a loss of confidence in corporate America, the index fell to 106.4 from 110.3 in May. Economists were forecasting an index reading of 109.6.
"Weak labor market conditions, generally soft business conditions and waning public confidence in questionable business practices have helped erode consumer confidence," said Lynn Franco, director of the New York-based Conference Board's consumer research center, in a statement. "Still, the latest readings point to continued consumer spending and moderate economic growth."
The present situation index, which measures confidence levels now, fell to 105.7 from 111.2 last month, while the expectations index, which gauges Americans' six-month outlook, declined to 106.9 from 109.7.
Since taking a 12-point dive to 85.7 in October, confidence has been coming back with signs of an economic recovery. The latest scandals and market decline, however, may have disturbed comfort levels.
Investors were looking past the news in morning trading, with the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
up 95 points to 9,376.9 and the
ahead 10 points to 1,471.1.