Consumer confidence tumbles in June (Reuters)

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008 | Finance News

NEW YORK (Reuters) -
Consumer confidence fell in June to
its lowest in 16 years as high inflation continued to sap
confidence and pushed expectations for the future to a record
low, the Conference Board said on Tuesday.

The Conference Board, an industry group, said its inflation
expectations gauge matched the record-high 7.7 percent it hit
in May, which will keep Federal Reserve policy makers concerned
over price growth as they meet to decide rates on Tuesday and
Wednesday.

The Conference Board said its overall monthly measure of
consumers' mood declined to 50.4 this month -- the lowest since
47.3 in February 1992 -- from a revised 58.1 in May. May's
reading was originally reported at 57.2.

Economists on Wall Street had been expecting a reading of
56.4, according to a Reuters poll. Their forecasts ranged from
50.0 to 60.0.

The index has now dropped by more than half since last
July, when it was at 111.90. Since then, housing market
troubles triggered the most severe credit crisis in at least a
decade.

Consumers made a grim assessment of their present situation
and their future prospects. The present situation index dropped
to 64.5 from a revised 74.2 in May. The expectations barometer
slid to an all-time low of 41.0 from a revised 47.3 in May.

(Reporting by Burton Frierson; Editing by Theodore
d'Afflisio)

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