As inflation woes continue unabated, consumers lose confidence

Consumer confidence in the economy continues to fall in July.

WASHINGTON — The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index dropped for the third month in a row to 95.7 in July (1985=100), the lowest level since February 2021. Consumer concerns about the overall economy and inflation continued to be top of mind for survey participants.

Consumers don’t have a positive outlook on current economic conditions and short-term future conditions. The Present Situation Index, based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor conditions, declined to 141.3 from 147.2 in the previous month, and the Expectations Index — based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business and labor market conditions — ticked down to 65.3 from 65.8.

“Consumer confidence fell for a third consecutive month in July,” said Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “The decrease was driven primarily by a decline in the Present Situation Index, a sign growth has slowed at the start of Q3. The Expectations Index held relatively steady but remained well below a reading of 80, suggesting recession risks persist.

“Concerns about inflation — rising gas and food prices, in particular — continued to weigh on consumers.”

Franco said that consumers pulled back further in July on purchases of cars, homes and major appliances. “Looking ahead, inflation and additional rate hikes are likely to continue posing strong headwinds for consumer spending and economic growth over the next six months,” said Franco.

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Jean Marie Layton is senior editor for upholstery at Furniture Today. A design and furniture aficionado, she has worked as a writer/editor in industry and non-profits, in academic administration and in retail furniture sales. She pursued a master’s degree in the history of design at Parsons/Cooper-Hewitt and has a BA in history from Mount Holyoke College and an MA in liberal arts from Stanford University. Reach out to Jean Marie with your story ideas, tips and more at

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