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Consumers lose confidence
ABC/Money poll's overall confidence index falls to -21 as more Americans rate the economy 'poor.'
July 15, 2003: 6:30 PM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Consumer confidence slipped to its lowest level in seven weeks as more Americans fretted about future job prospects, according to the results of the ABC News/Money magazine poll released Tuesday.

The ABC News/Money magazine Consumer Confidence Index fell to -21 in the week ended July 13, down from -18 a week earlier. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus three points.

The June unemployment rate rose to its worst level in nine years as businesses cut thousands of jobs, according to a government report released earlier in July.

The jobless rate rose to 6.4 percent from 6.1 percent in May, the Labor Department said.

Measured separately, 27 percent of Americans said the national economy is in excellent or good shape, three percentage points less than the previous week. The best was 80 percent registered in Jan. 16, 2000. The worst was 7 percent in late 1991 and early 1992.

Thirty-seven percent said it's an excellent or good time to buy things they want and need, the same as the week ended July 6. The best was 57 percent reported for the week of Jan. 16, 2000. The worst was 20 percent in fall 1990.

Fifty-four percent rated their personal finances as excellent or good. It was 56 percent the week prior. The best was 70 percent, set Aug. 30, 1998, and the worst was 42 percent set March 14, 1993.

The study also concluded that 30 percent of participants rated the economy as "poor," up four percentage points this week to the most since Dec. 12, 1993.

The ABC News/Money consumer index represents a rolling average based on telephone interviews with about 1,000 adults nationwide each month. The latest week's results are based on 1,001 interviews in the week ended July 13, 2003.  Top of page

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