U.S. consumer confidence fell more than expected in July, the Conference Board said on Tuesday, recording its second consecutive decline as sentiment remained hampered by a difficult job market.
The Conference Board, an industry group, said its index of consumer attitudes slid to 46.6 in July from 49.3 in June.
Economists had expected a reading of 49.0, based on the median of 64 forecasts in a Reuters poll.
The Present Situation Index declined to 23.4 from a revised 25.0, its lowest since March this year.
The decline in the Present Situation Index was caused primarily by a worsening job market as the percent of consumers claiming jobs are hard to get rose sharply, the report said.
The Expectations Index also deteriorated, coming in at 62.0, its weakest since April, from 65.5 in June.
The worsening of sentiment came as Americans saying jobs are hard to get increased, with that measure coming in at 48.1 percent -- the highest since March this year -- from 44.8 percent the previous month.
Those saying jobs are plentiful fell to 3.6 percent from 4.5 percent. That was the lowest jobs plentiful number since February 1983, when it was 2.9.
(Reporting by Burton Frierson; Editing by James Dalgleish)