Consumer confidence has weakened substantially this month, to 90.9. Weakness is centered in the expectations component which is down nearly 13 points to 79.9 and reflects sudden pessimism in the jobs outlook where an unusually large percentage, at 20 percent even, see fewer jobs opening up six months from now.
Less severe is weakness in the present situation component which is down nearly 3 points to 107.4. Here, slightly more, at 26.7 percent, say jobs are hard to get but this is still low for this reading.
A striking negative in the report is a drop in buying plans for autos which confirms weakness elsewhere in the report. Inflation expectations are steady at 5.1 percent which is soft for this reading.
This report is citing problems in Greece and China as possible factors for the decline in expectations, but US consumers are typically insulated from international events. The decline in expectations, mirrored earlier this morning by a similar decline in the service-sector outlook, may be sending early hints of second-half slowing, slowing that could push back of course the Fed’s expected rate hike.