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Consumer Confidence Falls Sharply

July 30, 2002

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Consumer confidence fell sharply in July, to its lowest level in five months, undermined by falling stock prices and worries about jobs, a private research group said Tuesday.

The New York-based Conference Board said its Consumer Confidence Index fell to 97.1 from a revised 106.3 in June. Analysts had been expecting a reading of 101.5.

The industry group’s index, based on a monthly survey of some 5,000 U.S. households, is closely watched because consumer confidence drives consumer spending, which accounts for about two-thirds of the nation’s economic activity.

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