BUSINESS
05/31/2011 01:29 pm ET Updated Jul 31, 2011

Inflation Concerns Lead To Lower Consumer Confidence In May: Report

NEW YORK - Consumer confidence slid in May as consumers turned more pessimistic on the outlook for the labor market and inflation worries rose, according to a private sector report released on Tuesday.

The Conference Board, an industry group, said its index of consumer attitudes fell to 60.8 from a revised 66.0 in April. The reading was below economists' forecasts for 66.5.

April was originally reported as 65.4. The expectations index tumbled to 75.2 from 83.2, while the present situation index edged down to 39.3 from 40.2.

Consumers' labor market assessment was less favorable. The proportion of those who said jobs were hard to get rose to 43.9 percent from 42.4 percent the month before, although the "jobs plentiful" category also rose to 5.6 percent from 5.1 percent.

Consumers were also more negative on their view of the labor market for the next six months. Those expecting more jobs in the coming months decreased to 15.9 percent from 17.8 percent, and those expecting fewer jobs rose to 20.8 percent from 18.7 percent.

Consumers' expectations for inflation in the coming 12 months rose to 6.6 from 6.3 percent.

(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)

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