Data released today by the Conference Board showed that consumers grew markedly more pessimistic about the U.S. economy in August.
The index of consumer confidence fell from a reading of 65.4 in July, down to 60.6 last month.
Economists had expected a reading of 66, Bloomberg noted.
The index’s decline — 4.8 points — was the largest drop recorded since October 2011. During the last recession, the index showed an average reading of 53.7.
The Conference Board’s index of present economic conditions remained almost flat in August, compared to July, while the index of expected economic conditions in six month, dropped from 78.4 in July, to 70.5 in August. That marked the worst reading since November 2011.
Analysts warned that consumers remain wary over continued high unemployment and government policy in a presidential election year.
The Conference Board data stands in contrast to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index, released earlier this month, which rose from 72.3 in July, to 73.6 in August, marking its best reading in three months and exceeding economists’ expectations.