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Consumer Confidence At 4-Month Low

June 25, 2002

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Consumer confidence declined in June to a four-month low, hurt by accounting scandals and concern about jobs, a private research firm said Tuesday.

The New York-based Conference Board said its Consumer Confidence Index fell to 106.4 this month from a revised 110.3 in May. Analysts were expecting a reading of 106.0.

The industry group’s index, based on a monthly survey of some 5,000 U.S. households, is closely watched because consumer confidence drives consumer spending, which accounts for about two-thirds of the nation’s economic activity.

``Weak labor market conditions, generally soft business conditions and waning public confidence in questionable business practices have helped erode consumer confidence,″ said Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board’s research center.

Still, she said, the figures pointed to ``continued spending and moderate economic growth.″

The index compares results to its base year, 1985, when it stood at 100. June’s figure is the lowest since February, when consumer confidence stood at 95.0 amid congressional hearings investigating the Enron scandal.

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