US consumer confidence tumbles in July as COVID-19 spreads


By Martin Crutsinge, Associated Press

Jul 28, 2020


WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer confidence tumbled in July to a reading of 92.6 as coronavirus infections spread in many parts of the country.


The Conference Board, a New York research organization, reported Tuesday that its Consumer Confidence Index fell from a June reading of 98.3. The weakness came from a drop in the expectations index, which measures consumer views about the short-term outlook for income, business and labor market conditions.


The consumer confidence index is closely watched for signals it can send about future consumer spending, which accounts for 70% of economic activity.


The Conference Board said that the large decline in the expectations index reflected big drops in sentiment in Michigan, Forida, Texas and California, all states that have seen a resurgence in coronavirus cases.


About 4.2 million confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University, and there have been more than 146,000 deaths.


“Consumers have grown less optimistic about the short-term outlook for the economy and labor market and remain subdued about their financial prospects,” said Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at the Conference Board.


“Such uncertainty about the short-term future does not bode well for the recovery, nor for consumer spending,” he said...