Consumer Confidence Falls; Retail Suffers (Update)

Consumer confidence once again falls in July, as job fears heighten, giving investors little hope for back-to-school.
Publish date:

(Nielsen's global confidence survey and ICSC data added.)



) -- July is not turning out to be a very sunny month.

Consumer confidence fell for the second time this summer, as worries about the job market heighten.

The Conference Board said its Consumer Confidence Index fell to 46.6, down from 49.3 in June, missing economists' expectations of a reading of 49. A reading above 90 would signal the economy is stronger.

The Present Situation Index also decreased to 23.4 from 25 last month, while the Expectations Index dropped to 62 from 65.5 in June.

Retail shares were mostly down after the data was released.

Wal-Mart Stores

(WMT) - Get Report

slipped 0.4% to $48.77,

(AMZN) - Get Report

shed 1.5% to $83.21,


(GME) - Get Report

was off 2% to $23.06, and


(NFLX) - Get Report

fell 2% to $40.90.

But the biggest losers included

Office Depot

(ODP) - Get Report




, both of which reported quarterly earnings earlier in the morning.

Shares of Office Depot plunged 14% to $4.60 after posting a

bigger-than-expected loss

in its second quarter.

Coach tanked 6% to $26.62, despite

meeting quarterly expectations

and announcing some new growth initiatives.

But while confidence is falling in the United States, overseas shoppers are perkier. On Monday Nielsen reported that

global consumer confidence jumped to 82 in June

, an increase of 5 points from March.

While most countries -- including Japan, Russia and Turkey -- saw improvements in confidence, the United States, New Zealand and Germany remain pessimistic.

Still, although

consumer confidence may be dismal

, this pessimism doesn't seem to persist when it comes time to actually spend. Retail sales for the week ended July 28 increased 1%, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers. This is the

second week this month

sales saw a slight increase.

ICSC, though, still expects July same-store sales to be off by about 5.5% due to leaner clearance merchandise compared with last year.

--Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.

Copyright 2009 Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.