NEW YORK -- Consumer confidence dropped 2% in July as word of lower corporate earnings, layoffs and a skittish stock market burned its way into the minds of the public.
The Consumer Confidence Index inched downward to 116.5 in July, after it improved 2.8 points to 118.9 in June. Still, while some economists contend the index has stabilized after robust growth, it is down considerably since hitting its yearly high of 143 last July.
"The moderate decline in confidence signals slow economic growth ahead," Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board's consumer research center, said in a statement. "Consumer spending will hold at, or near, current levels. Consumers are cautiously optimistic that the economy will rebound later this year."
The biggest decline in the monthly report came in its reading of consumers' assessment of the current business conditions.