Consumer confidence declined in July for the third consecutive month as pessimism about the economy rose, according to survey data Discover Financial Services released Aug. 4.

Discover’s U.S. Spending Monitor index in July fell to 86.5, down 1.9 points from 88.4 in June. Discover set the index at 100 when it introduced it in May 2007.

In a nationwide telephone survey of 8,200 adults Rasmussen Reports conducted throughout July on behalf of Discover, 57.9% of respondents said they believed the economy is in poor shape, up from 50.9% who said so in June.

 More than half of respondents, 51.9%, in July said they believed economic conditions were worsening compared with 47.8% who said so in June.

Fewer respondents saw improving conditions, as 23.4% of respondents in July said they thought the economy was getting better, compared with 28% who said so in June.

The rising economic concerns are driving consumers to rein in their spending, as 26.4% of respondents in July said they planned to spend less in the coming month compared with 22.8% who said so in June.

“Economic uncertainty appears to be weighing on consumers’ discretionary spending intentions,” Julie Loeger, Discover senior vice president of brand and product management, said in a statement. “In the spring, more consumers felt the economy was improving, and that correlated with an overall increase in spending intentions. Monitor data now suggest consumers’ economic confidence is declining and with that so are their discretionary spending intentions.”

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