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Consumer confidence off slightly

NEW YORK — Consumer confidence dipped slightly during February, slipping by 1 percent, to a reading of 104.0 from, 105.1, giving up some of the strong 2.3 percent increase recorded during January, The Conference Board reported.

Consumers are feeling good about current business conditions, and the Present Situation Index advanced strongly, by 3.8 percent. But they're somewhat less certain looking ahead, and the Expectations Index fell by 4.7 percent.

The employment picture also improved, the business think tank noted. The number of consumers who said jobs are hard to get fell to 22.6 percent from 24.3 percent, and the number who think jobs are plentiful was virtually unchanged at 20.9 percent.

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