US consumer confidence dips in July from 5 year high

Consumer confidence in the United States dipped in July as consumers worried more about the economy and jobs, the Conference Board said Tuesday.

The consumer confidence index retreated to 80.3 from a five-year high reading of 82.1 in June.

Analysts on average had expected a stronger 81.6 reading for July.

While consumers' views on current conditions continued to improve, expectations for the next six months weakened.

The outlook for the jobs market, where the unemployment rate stood at 7.6 percent in June, soured as consumers expected fewer jobs to be available.

The Conference Board highlighted that despite the July dip, confidence remained well above the year-ago levels.

"Overall, indications are that the economy is strengthening and may even gain some momentum in the months ahead," said Lynn Franco, the Conference Board's director of economic indicators.

Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said the report was "nothing to worry about" and the number should rebound in August.

The drop in consumers' expectations for the short term probably reflected the lagged effect of the drop in stock prices in late June, and perhaps the rise in gasoline prices, he said.

"Overall, then, we are not worried by the headline dip in sentiment; it is not the start of a sustained decline."