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Consumer confidence hits 98.6 in October, versus 101.5 estimate

A shopper carries a purchase from Macy's in Chicago, Illinois.
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A shopper carries a purchase from Macy's in Chicago, Illinois.

Consumers felt the economy will continue to expand but at a moderate pace, according to a monthly survey released Tuesday.

The Consumer Confidence Index hit 98.6 in October, down from 104.1 in September, according to data from The Conference Board on Tuesday.

Economists expected the index to hit 101.5 in October, according to a Thomson Reuters consensus estimate.

The survey, a closely followed barometer of consumer attitudes, measures confidence toward business conditions, short-term outlook, personal finances and jobs.

"Consumer confidence retreated in October, after back-to-back monthly gains," said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. "Consumers' assessment of current business and employment conditions softened, while optimism regarding the short-term outlook retreated somewhat. However, consumers' expectations regarding their income prospects in the coming months were relatively unchanged."

People saying business conditions were "good" decreased by more than 2 percent to 26.2 percent. Those saying conditions were "bad" increased by nearly 2 percent to 17.7 percent. And people saying jobs were "plentiful" was less positive this month. That decreased to 24.3 percent from 27.6 percent.

The report also said the Present Situation Index, which measures overall consumer sentiments toward the present economic situation, decreased to 120.6 from 127.9 in the prior month. The Expectations Index, which measures sentiments for the next 6-months, declined to 83.9 from 87.2 in September.

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