Coming just twenty-four hours after disappointing data from the University of Michigan [WAMN: 30-Jul-02], the US Conference Board’s consumer confidence index confirms the dent in public morale over the state of the US economy.

The July data is based on a postal survey of 5,000 US households and registers a steeper fall than expected, dropping from 106.3 in June to 97.1 – its lowest since February. This continues a fall that began in May.

The decline is thought to have been sparked by recent falls in world stock markets and exacerbated by the spate of accounting scandals besetting US business.

The New York-based Conference Board, a business research group, warned that while the latest numbers were “not alarming by historical standards, a continued slide could very well jeopardise the economic recovery”. This was underscored by survey respondents’ concern about future economic conditions.

Some economists, however, are sceptical about the relationship between consumer confidence data and the future helath of the economy.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff