Consumer sentiment as measured by Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan fell in early July to the lowest level since March 2009, the news agency reported Friday. Consumers are increasingly pessimistic about falling income and rising unemployment, the survey found.
The index fell from over 71 in June to 63.8 in July, disappointing economists who expected an increase to 72.5. Consumer expectations fell, too, dropping nine points to 55.
Survey director Richard Curtin noted in a statement that despite past surveys with similarly low expectations occurring in recessions, “one month’s data is insufficient to signal a renewed downturn, particularly if a last-minute agreement on the debt ceiling results in a partial restoration of confidence.”
The survey also measured economic conditions; that index fell to 76 from 82.