Consumer confidence unchanged

After falling sharply in August consumer confidence was essentially unchanged in the month of September, according to a new report.

The Consumer Confidence Index now stands at 45.4, a marginal increase from the 45.2 in August, The Conference Board reports. The Present Situation Index, however, fell from 34.3 to 32.5. This index measures overall consumer sentiment toward current economic conditions.

Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board Consumer Research Center, said Americans' negative sentiment hasn't abated.

"The pessimism that shrouded consumers last month has spilled over into September," said Franco. "Consumers expressed greater concern about their expected earnings, a sign that does not bode well for spending."

She went on to say that consumers' assessment about the current state of the country's financial system fell for a fifth-straight month, while sentiment about the job market was slightly better in September compared to August. Those claiming jobs are "plentiful" increased from 4.8 percent to 5.5 percent.

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