WASHINGTON – Americans' confidence in the economy fell only slightly in July, remaining close to the highest level in more than five years.
The Conference Board, a New York-based private research group, says that its consumer confidence index dipped to 80.3 in July. That's down from a reading of 82.1 in June.
Despite the slight drop, confidence remains well above year-ago levels. And while the hiring outlook for the short-term declined, consumers were more upbeat about the job market's potential in the coming months.
Consumers' confidence in the economy is watched closely because their spending accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity.