Consumer confidence dips again in July

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Consumer confidence, which fell sharply in June, declined again in July.

The index now stands at 50.4, down from 54.3 in June. The Present Situation Index decreased to 26.1 from 26.8. The Expectations Index declined to 66.6 from 72.7 last month.

"Consumer confidence faded further in July as consumers continue to grow increasingly more pessimistic about the short-term outlook. Concerns about business conditions and the labor market are casting a dark cloud over consumers that is not likely to lift until the job market improves," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, in a statement.

"Given consumers' heightened level of anxiety, along with their pessimistic income outlook and lackluster job growth, retailers are very likely to face a challenging back-to-school season," Franco added.

Consumers' assessment of current conditions was more downbeat in July. Those saying conditions are "bad" increased to 43.6 percent from 41 percent, however, those saying business conditions are "good" increased to 9 percent from 8.4 percent.

Consumers' appraisal of the job market was also more negative. Those claiming jobs are "hard to get" increased to 45.8 percent from 43.5 percent, while those saying jobs are "plentiful" remained unchanged at 4.3 percent.

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