By MATT OTT
AP Business Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer confidence slipped to its lowest level in 16 months as persistent inflation and rising interest rates have Americans as pessimistic as they’ve been about the future in almost a decade. The Conference Board said Tuesday that its consumer confidence index slipped to 98.7 in June from 103.2 in May and the second straight monthly decline and the lowest level since February 2021. The business research group’s expectations index, based on consumers’ six-month outlook for income, business and labor market conditions, tumbled in June to 66.4 — its lowest level since 2013.