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Fri Jul 27, 2012, 11:46 AM

Consumer Confidence in U.S. Falls to Lowest Level of Year on Labor Outlook [View all]

By Michelle Jamrisko - Jul 27, 2012 10:37 AM ET

Confidence among U.S. consumers dropped in July to the lowest level this year as the labor market and broader economy showed few signs of improvement.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final index of sentiment declined to 72.3 this month from 73.2 in June. The gauge was projected to hold at the preliminary reading of 72, according to the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

A slowdown in hiring in the second quarter, which may reflect companies’ concerns about demand as Europe’s economy falters, is damping moods of Americans whose spending accounts for about 70 percent of the economy. Another report today showed the expansion cooled in the second quarter.

The drop “may well be more worries about Europe and fiscal policy and just the jitters in the equity market recently,” said James O’Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics in Valhalla, New York. At the same time, “we’re not seeing a collapse in confidence.”



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