Nevada News Reporter

Consumer confidence drops sharply in July

Consumer confidence drops sharply in July

Consumer confidence plunged in July as global turmoil rocked financial markets. The Conference Board’s index of consumers’ perceptions fell to 90.9 from June’s 99.8, mostly because of a sharp deterioration in their short-term outlook. The reading for June was revised down from 101.4. Economists had expected a  slight decline in July to 100.635525484466911536-AP-Consumer-Spending-001

The less optimistic outlook for the labor market, and perhaps the uncertainty and volatility in financial markets prompted by the situation in Greece and China, appears to have shaken consumers’ confidence,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board. The closely watched measure of Americans’ attitudes hit a 7-½ high of 103.8 in January, but has been volatile in recent months. Strong job growth generally has buoyed consumers this year but the Greek debt crisis and China’s stock market plunge have hurt U.S. stocks in recent weeks.

Employers added a solid 223,000 jobs last month, though wage growth weakened after showing signs of finally accelerating from its modest 2% annual pace. In July, the share of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months fell to 14.7% from 17.9%. And those expecting more jobs tumbled to 13.1% from 17.1%, while those anticipating fewer jobs jumped to 20% from 15.2%.

Americans’ view of current conditions also slipped modestly. The share saying jobs are “plentiful” fell to 20.7% from 21.3%. The portion saying jobs are “hard to get” edged up to 26.7% from 26.1%. The index is monitored because it can be an indicator of future consumer spending, which typically drives economic growth.