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US consumers slightly less confident in economy this month on dimmer outlook for jobs, wages

Americans' confidence in the economy fell slightly in September from August, as many became less optimistic about hiring and pay increases over the next six months.

The Conference Board, a New York-based private research group, says its consumer confidence index dropped to 79.7 in September. That's down from August's reading of 81.8, which was slightly higher than previously estimated.

Consumers' confidence is closely watched because their spending accounts for 70 percent of economic activity. While confidence has bounced back from the depths of the Great Recession, it has yet to regain a reading of 90 that typically coincides with a healthy economy.