Consumer confidence up slightly, below expectations

A lack of job creation — unemployment stands at 9.5 percent — is weighing on consumer sentiment and is likely to stymie consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of the economy. 

Still, the gauge of current conditions, showing whether people think it's a good time to buy cars or other more expensive items, was at 78.3 compared with 76.5 percent in July. 

The economy showed a slower pace of growth in the second quarter at 1.6 percent, down from the initial reading of 2.4 percent. The economy expanded at a 3.75 percent rate during the first three months of the year. 

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has said that spending would increase in line with a lowering unemployment rate. At this pace though, Bernanke said today consumers might proceed slowly with their spending as savings are on the rise and credit card debt drops to an eight-year low.