Consumer confidence plunged in July as global turmoil rocked financial markets..
USA Today reported that 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.
“”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 month 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, thought 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%.