Consumer Confidence Index falls in May

Slow hiring, global problems cited; drop could hurt Obama in election

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“We haven’t really had strong job growth,” Ms. Franco said. “We’ve had back-to-back rather weak labor market reports, and jobs are critical to consumer confidence, so that seems to have a negative impact.”

Ms. Franco and the Conference Board said the next official unemployment report, which the Labor Department releases Friday, will have a big impact on consumer confidence. She expects the economy to add about 150,00 to 175,000 jobs per month for the rest of the year.

“That should help,” she said. “We’ll have a few months of improvements, and then it retreats. It’s been two steps forward, one step back, but we’re gradually moving in the right direction.”

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