The New York-based research group Conference Board said its Consumer Confidence Index dropped to 50.4 in June from a revised 58.1 in May. The reading was the lowest since February 1992, when it was 47.3. Economists had expected the index to decline to 56, according to


Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board, said the report is an indication that the economy is “stuck in low gear.”

“Perhaps the silver lining to this otherwise dismal report is that Consumer Confidence may be nearing a bottom,” Franco said in a statement.

Among the components in the overall report, the Expectations Index – a measure of consumers' economic outlook for the future – hit an all-time low, declining to 41 from 47.3 in May.


The Present Situation Index, which measures how the average consumer feels about the economy right now, decreased to 64.5 from 74.2 in May.


The number of respondents reporting that business conditions as bad increased to 32.5% from 29.7% in May, while those claiming business conditions as good declined to 11.5% from 13% last month.


Consumers' take on the job market was also more pessimistic this month. Those who said jobs are hard to get increased to 30.5% from 28.3% in May, while those saying jobs are plentiful declined to 14.1% from 16.1% the month before.


The labor market for the months ahead was also cause for concern. The percent of consumers expecting fewer jobs in the near future increased to 35.5% from 32.3%, while those who think there will be more jobs declined to 8% from 9%.


The six-month outlook for future business conditions got worse in June. Those who expect business conditions to worsen until December rose to 33.9% from 32.9%, while those who expect business to get better decreased to 8.8% from 10.6% in May.


The index – based on a survey of 5,000 U.S. households conducted for The Conference Board by TNS – has declined for six months in a row. The index uses 1985 as the benchmark year when the index stood at 100.