U.S. consumer confidence declined in July by more than forecast as Americans became rattled by the recent increase in Covid-19 cases and its impact on the economy and the job market. The Conference Board’s index decreased to 92.6 from a revised 98.3, according to a report issued Tuesday. The median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a reading of 95 in July. The group’s gauge of expectations fell by the most since March, while household sentiment about current conditions climbed.
The latest reading of sentiment adds to evidence of a slowing in the pace of the economic recovery from the pandemic as the virus interrupts reopenings in several states. Less than a third of respondents in the survey said they expected better business conditions and more jobs in the next six months, evidenced by an elevated number of Americans collecting jobless benefits.