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Economic Report: U.S. consumer confidence slumps to 7-month low on delta and inflation worries

The numbers: Confidence in the economy fell in September to a seven-month low owing to the fast spread of delta and a bout of high inflation that’s raised the cost of new cars, appliances and other popular products.

The closely followed index of consumer confidence slid to 109.3 this month from a revised 115.2 in August, the Conference Board said Tuesday. It’s the lowest reading since February.

Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast a reading of 115.3.

Big picture: The economy was partly knocked off track toward the end of summer by the delta strain of the coronavirus, but with caseloads now falling rapidly, the scare might end soon. That should help boost the spirits of Americans and get the recovery back on track.

Worries about inflation are still high, though, and consumers are putting off big purchases because of high prices. There is some sign that price pressures are starting to ease, but inflation is likely to remain elevated through next year.

Read: Inflation in the U.S. is running at the highest level in 30 years

Market reaction: The Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
-1.23%

and S&P 500
SPX,
-1.70%

fell in Tuesday trades.

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