A new survey has found that US consumer confidence fell in the second quarter of 2012 on the back of concerns about employment prospects and Europe’s festering debt crisis.
The survey by global information and analytics company Nielsen, conducted May 4-21, showed that consumer confidence dropped by 5 points in the second quarter from the first quarter to 87, Reuters reported on Monday.
An index of below 100 indicates consumers are pessimistic about the economic outlook for the coming months.
According to the report, only 34 percent of US citizens were optimistic about their job prospects for the next six months, compared with 38 percent in a survey in the first quarter of the year.
The poll, covering 500 online respondents in the United States, also found that 78 percent of respondents believed the economy was in recession in the three months through June.
“Consumer uncertainty prevails with weak job gains, instability in global financial markets and continued budget issues at local, state and national government level,” said Todd Hale, Nielsen’s senior vice president for consumer and shopper insights.
Consumer confidence is widely monitored as consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of the US economy.
Last week, the US Federal Reserve significantly cut its projection for the country’s economic growth, saying it did not expect the unemployment rate to fall significantly in 2012.
The US central bank said that it now expected the economy to expand between 1.9 percent and 2.4 percent this year, much less than the Fed's April forecast that predicted a 2.4 to 2.9 percent growth rate.