U.S. consumer confidence fell unexpectedly in September as the worst job prospects in 26 years fueled worries over personal finances, according to a report released on Tuesday.
The Conference Board, an industry group, said its index of consumer attitudes fell to 53.1 in September from a revised 54.5 in August.
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a rise to 57.0 from an originally reported 54.1.
Reflecting Americans' worries about employment prospects, the index measuring jobs hard to get, rose to 47.0 from 44.3. At the other end of the scale, the gauge of jobs plentiful fell to 3.4 from 4.3. That was the lowest since February 1983.
The poor outlook overall led consumers to evaluate their present situation as the worst since March. The present situation gauge fell to 22.7 from 25.4.
In a bit of good news for the Federal Reserve, which has pumped easy money into the financial system in an effort to revive the economy, one-year inflation expectations fell to 5.2 percent from 5.4 percent in August.
September's inflation expectations were the lowest since October 2007.
(Reporting by Burton Frierson, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)