Consumer confidence, as measured by the Discover U.S. Spending Monitor, fell for the second straight month in July, to its lowest level in two years. Since January, the monitor, based on a daily poll of 8,200 consumers, has dropped 11 points, to 82.7.
“Most consumers don’t appear to be having a carefree summer, considering the drops in confidence the monitor has reported over the last two months,” said Julie Loeger, senior vice president of brand and product management at Discover. “Continued high gas prices, poor economic numbers and uncertainty over the debt crisis certainly didn’t help their confidence.”
Sixty-two percent said the economy is in poor condition, up from 60% in June. Fifty-nine said economic conditions are worsening, up from 56% the month before.
Fifty-four percent said their personal finances are getting worse, up from 51%. At the start of the year, 44% felt their personal finances were deteriorating.
Only 45% said they have money left over after paying their bills, down from 47% in June. Fifty-three percent said they are reining in their spending, up from 49% the month prior. A mere 8% said they will spend on discretionary items, like going out to dinner or the movie, down from 11%.
A full 45% plan to save and invest less in August, up from 41% in June who planned to save and invest less in the following month.