Consumer confidence takes unexpected fall

The numbers also come as Republicans are gathering in Tampa, Fla., to nominate Mitt Romney as their presidential nominee, and as GOP officials assert that November’s election will at least in part be a referendum on President Obama’s handling of the economy. 

The unemployment rate has been above 8 percent for practically all of the president’s tenure in the Oval Office. Obama has said that, while the economy is not as strong as it should be, Romney’s proposals would make it harder for middle- and lower-income households.

Economists had expected that figure to come in far higher, with a median projection of around 66. As Franco noted, the 60.6 figure was the lowest since last November. 

In all, the board found that consumers grew more likely to believe that the economy would deteriorate in the coming months, and less likely to believe it would get better. 

Respondents also grew less confident that the economy would create more jobs in the short term.