The numbers: A survey of consumer confidence slipped in May to a six-month low of 102.3. Americans remained gloomy about the economy and said jobs were getting harder to find.

The closely followed index dipped 1.4 points from a revised 103.7 in the prior month, the Conference Board said Tuesday. The level of confidence in May was the lowest since last November.

Consumer confidence tends to signal whether the economy is getting better or worse. The index remains well below the levels associated with a healthy economy.

Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast the index to register 99.

Key details: A confidence gauge that looks ahead six months edged down to 71.5 in April from 71.7.

Constant readings below 80 often signal a recession within the next year, the board has said. The expectations index has been below that level in every month except for one in the last 15 months.

A measure that looks at how consumers feel about the economy right now declined to 148.6 from 151.8.

Inflation is not expected to decline much over the next year.