Consumer Confidence Plunges Further in July

Associated Press

NEW YORK – A monthly consumer survey shows that Americans’ confidence in the economy eroded further in July amid job worries. The reading raises concern about the economic recovery and the back-to-school shopping season.

The Conference Board, a private research group, says its Consumer Confidence Index slipped to 50.4 in July, down from the revised 54.3 in June. The decline follows a drop of nearly 10 points in June. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected 51.0. The two straight monthly declines follow three months of increases.

Economists watch the number closely because consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity and is critical to a strong recovery. A reading above 90 indicates an economy on solid footing.

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