2008 record      


U.S. consumers are even more pessimistic about the economy and less optimistic about their personal finances this month than they were previously, according to the most recent poll by Investor's Business Daily and TIPP.

The survey, released Tuesday, showed the IBD/TIPP economic optimism index fell 2.1 points, or 4.4%, in July to a reading of 45.6 compared with 47.7 in June.

That is 0.9 points above the index's 12-month average of 44.7 and 1.2 points above its reading of 44.4 in December 2007, when the economy entered the recession. The most recent reading is 3.7 points below its all-time average of 49.3.

Index readings above 50 indicate optimism while anything below 50 indicates pessimism.

"Consumers are concerned about the outlook for the economy," said Raghavan Mayur, president of TIPP, a unit of IBD's polling partner TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence.

The six-month economic outlook, a measure of how consumers feel about the economy's prospects in the next six months, fell 4 points--or 8.8%--to 41.6.

The personal financial outlook, a measure of how Americans feel about their own finances in the next six months, slid 2.1 points, or 3.7%, to 54.7.

Confidence in federal economic policies dropped slightly by 0.2 points to 40.4.

IBD/TIPP conducted the national poll of 879 adults from June 24 to June 30.

The margin of error is +/-3.4 percentage points, the firms said.

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