Lowest July consumer sentiment since March 2009

Added by on August 1, 2011

People shopping in shopping center

Consumer sentiment, a measure of consumer attitudes toward the overall business climate, state of personal finances, and consumer spending fell to its lowest level in 28 months over wages and rising unemployment, according to a report released on Friday.

Consumer sentiment, measured monthly and reported by Thomson Reuters and University of Michigan, was at 63.7 – down from 71.5 the previous month. Only 10% of consumers expected to earn more money in the year ahead and 60% did not expect any gains in their household’s finances over the next five years.

“While consumers may not fully understand the debate about the federal debt, they do understand the meaning of the oft repeated warnings of ‘dire economic consequences’,” survey director Richard Curtin said in a statement.

Twice as many consumers reported hearing about new job losses compared with job gains in July.

“The absence of positive long-term financial expectations has turned consumer resilience into consumer fragility at the first sign of adversity,” Curtin said.