More Americans feel bad about falling income and rising unemployment in the U.S., dropping consumer confidence in the U.S. to its lowest level since the Great Recession.
The U.S. has been officially out of the recession for two years now, but the recovery has been slow, and different that others historically. Companies are now hiring less, and differently, and wages are stagnant. The economy is also in a slow-growth mode, and housing inventory and prices have years to go before full recovery, and U.S. politicians are nearing a deadline to raise America's debt ceiing but talks are stalled.
A survey released Friday shows American's have reached a peak of pessimism over the economic conditions since the recession, as consumer confidence dropped to 63.8 in July from 71.5 in June. The federal government announced in July that unemployment had risen to 9.2 percent from June.
According to a Reuters poll, economists had predicted a July consumer confidence reading in consensus of 72.5 -- almost 10 points higher than the actual reading.
The survey, by Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan, also showed consumer expectations on the economy fell to 76.3, the lowest since November 2009, from 82.0 in June. Consumers are still more optimistic in expectations than there were in March 2009, the last time consumer sentiment fell so low, but the reading was still troubling.
Whenever the Expectations Index has been this low in the past, the economy has been in recession, survey director Richard Curtin said in a statement.
Nonetheless, Curtin said, one month's data is insufficient to signal a renewed downtown, particularly if a last-minute agreement on the debt ceiling results in a partial restoration of confidence.
Half of those Americans polled said they felt the economy had worsened recently, and two times as many consumers than before said they heard more about jobs losses than jobs gains, dropping sentiment to its lowest level since 2009.
We remain in a very slow recovery with extraordinarily grudging employment, said Patrick O'Keefe, director of economic research at J.H. Cohn in New York, in an interview with Reuters. They're not seeing a lot of benefits.