NEW YORK, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- U.S. consumer confidence, which had increased in January, dropped moderately in February, the Conference Board said in a report released Tuesday.
The Consumer Confidence Index stood at 78.1 in February, down from 79.4 in January, the New York-based research organization said in its monthly survey. The fresh figure came in below analysts' expectation of 80.
"Consumer confidence declined moderately in February, on concern over the short-term outlook for business conditions, jobs, and earnings," said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators and surveys at the Conference Board.
The Present Situation Index, by contrast, climbed from 77.3 to 81.7 in February, its highest level in almost six years. However, the overall reading was pulled down by the Expectations Index, which dropped to 75.7 in February from 80.8 a month earlier. "This suggests that consumers believe the economy has improved, but they do not foresee it gaining considerable momentum in the months ahead," said Franco.
The report showed that consumers' appraisal of current conditions improved for the fourth consecutive month. Those rating business conditions as "good" increased to 21.5 percent in February from 20.8 percent in the previous month.
Meanwhile, consumers' expectations, which had been improving over the past two months, retreated in February. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months decreased to 16.3 percent in February from 17.0 percent in January.