Confidence plunged by 11.3 points to 113.8 in August, according to The Conference Board. Economists surveyed by Refinitiv had expected a reading of 124.
The Present Situation Index, which is based on consumers’ assessment of current business conditions and the labor market, fell to 147.3 from 157.2 last month. The Expectations Index, which measures consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business and the job market, declined to 91.4 from 103.8.
"Spending intentions for homes, autos, and major appliances all cooled somewhat," said Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at The Conference Board.
The percentage of consumers who said business conditions are "good" declined to 19.9% from 24.6%. At the same time, 54.6% of consumers said jobs are "plentiful," down from 55.2% in July.
Americans were also less optimistic about the short-term outlooks for business conditions, jobs and financial prospects.
"While the resurgence of COVID-19 and inflation concerns have dampened confidence, it is too soon to conclude this decline will result in consumers significantly curtailing their spending in the months ahead," Franco said.