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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Consumer Confidence Dips to Lowest Level Since March

Consumer confidence in early July retreated back to sour spring levels, indicating that it's not just Wall Street traders who are not trusting this so-called recovery.

The preliminary July index of confidence fell to 64.6 from 70.8 in June, according to the monthly Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers released today.

Consumers watched the stock markets surge more than 35 percent since their early March bottom and started to feel more optimistic in April, May and June.

But the markets started going sideways in early June, then down, then came the disappointing economic news, such as last week's worse-than-expected unemployment news.

At the same time, Vice President Joe Biden said that the economy is in worse shape than the White House thought and the administration is starting to hint broadly that a second stimulus plan may be needed, even though only 14 percent of the first stimulus has been paid out and its impact is in question.

The July consumer confidence number was below forecast predictions of 70.5. It's the first retreat in the index since February.

The consumer confidence index is made up of two components: consumer expectations and the consumer read on current conditions.

The expectations index dropped from 69.2 in June to 60.9 in early July.

The current conditions index dropped from 73.2 in June to 70.4 in early July.

"Consumers concluded that the economic downturn would last longer and their personal finances would not recover as quickly as they had previously expected," the survey's authors said in a statement.

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  July 10, 2009; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: consumer confidence  
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