Markets & Finance

Consumer Confidence Slumps

The Conference Board reports that consumer confidence slumped to 97.1 in July, from 106.3 in June. The consensus had been for a drop to 102.8.

The drop was primarily in expectations, which plunged to 95.7 from 107.2. But the index of current conditions was also down, to 99.2 from 104.9. Confidence is at its lowest level since February.

The report echoes the drop seen in the University of Michigan data last Friday. Weaker consumer confidence may cut into consumer spending, especially if the stock market continues to decline. The data confirm the view that the economy has stalled in the summer months, and could stay stalled if the stock market drops further. The Fed will stay on hold, but unless the deterioration continues, it is not likely to loosen.

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