NEW YORK (Reuters) - Consumer confidence fell for the fourth straight month to its lowest level since January, and the consumer expectations index was at its lowest level since November, according to a private sector report released on Tuesday.
PIERRE ELLIS, SENIOR ECONOMIST, DECISION ECONOMICS, NEW YORK
"It's disappointing there's no sign of broad stabilization in confidence. There is some hope that people's thinking about their current situation could be stabilizing.
"The big problem is expectations. That, in turn, is centered in the general perception about the state of the economy, i.e. business conditions six months from now.
"The improvement in the current situation index is not clearly evident in people's appraisal of the job market or business conditions.
"It's not a clarifying result and links a little too closely to what seems to be a fading in the upward momentum of consumer spending. This may be a transitory thing, but given the shakiness of the economy, every negative blip has to be a source of concern, particularly if it's in the consumer area."
DAVID SEMMENS, SENIOR U.S. ECONOMIST, STANDARD CHARTERED
"Consumer confidence comes in a bit weaker than the market was looking for. The 'present situation' improvement most likely reflects a marginal improvement in hiring, while the expectation component's drop correlates well to consumer spending. Still the lowest headline figure since January is concerning."
BORIS SCHLOSSBERG, MANAGING DIRECTOR, BK ASSET MANAGEMENT, NEW YORK
"Obviously, the consumer confidence was a disappointment and a little surprising. But this is probably still the residue the of the higher oil prices earlier and the dampening effect on employment. Overall, there hasn't been much of a reaction probably because this is being offset by the higher Case: Shiller report. And also the market is much more focused on the EU summit than the U.S. data."
JACOB OUBINA, SENIOR U.S. ECONOMIST, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS, NEW YORK
"It is important to keep in mind the expectations component bore the brunt and consumers are more worried about the backdrop in the months ahead. Not only the current month, but the prior month was revised down as well. The labor component was also down, which does not bode well for the upcoming jobs numbers. All in all, this is a downbeat report and this survey has more to do with what is going on in the U.S., so the dynamic is home grown and has little to do with Europe."
SEAN INCREMONA, ECONOMIST, 4CAST LTD, NEW YORK
"It was lower than expected. This reinforces the general tone we are seeing in a lot of consumer indexes. This one in particular has now fallen for four consecutive months, which is rather disappointing.
"The breakdown this time looks to be a bit more mixed, with expectations leading the fall while present situation edged up a bit. That is not a terrible twist to this number, but it does reinforce that confidence continues to wane, which does keep pressure on the recovery."
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