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Consumer confidence tumbles again this month

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By Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans' confidence in the economy eroded further in July amid worries about a job market that has proven stubbornly stagnant. The report raised concerns about the overall economy and the back-to-school season.

The Conference Board, a private research group, said Tuesday that its Consumer Confidence Index slipped to 50.4 in July, down from the revised 54.3 in June. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected 51.0. The decline follows last month's nearly 10-point drop, from 62.7 in May, which marked the biggest since February, when the measure also fell 10 points.

The second straight month of declining confidence follows three months of increases.

With unemployment stuck near 10 percent and the stock market having wiped out gains made early this year, Americans are skittish about spending. A continuing stream of sobering economic data — from disappointing job figures in May and June to weak housing numbers — is increasing worries that the economic recovery is stalling just as government stimulus programs are disappearing.

One component of the Consumer Confidence Index, which measures how people feel now about the economy now, declined to 26.1, from 26.8. The other barometer, which measures respondent's outlook over the next six months, declined to 66.6, from 72.7 last month.


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