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CHART: TurnSignals

After a brief uptick in June, the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index dropped again in July. In spite of the promise of tax rebate checks in the mail, consumers' confidence in the economic recovery is still low. Most consumers don't expect improvement for the rest of the year.

Expectations for the next six months:

Feb. March April May June July

Economy

Better 11.3% 15.1% 14.1% 16.8% 17.1% 17.2%

Worse 17.6% 13.7% 14.5% 13.5% 10.9% 11.2%

Same 71.1% 71.2% 71.4% 69.7% 72.0% 71.6%

Jobs

More 10.8% 12.2% 12.3% 13.8% 15.6% 14.9%

Fewer 26.6% 20.4% 22.9% 19.9% 18.1% 16.3%

Same 62.7% 67.4% 64.8% 66.3% 68.5% 70.7%

Incomes

Higher 23.9% 23.4% 22.7% 24.6% 24.4% 21.8%

Lower 7.5% 7.0% 7.7% 7.5% 7.1% 7.5%

Same 68.6% 69.6% 69.6% 67.9% 68.5% 70.7%

But consumers are still optimistic enough to plan spending on big-ticket items.

Plans to buy in the next six months:

Feb. March April May June July

Auto 9.0% 7.9% 7.7% 9.5% 6.7% 9.4%

Home 4.0% 4.2% 3.6% 3.6% 3.4% 3.8%

Appliances 28.3% 28.9% 29.8% 30.2% 27.0% 30.8%

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