Decreasing home and asset values have cut further into consumer confidence as much as rising energy and food costs, according to Discover Financial Services.
The Riverwoods, Ill., credit card company said Thursday that its monthly U.S. Spending Monitor was flat in July, rising just one-tenth of a point from June, to 86.1. The index was pegged at 100 at its creation in 2006.
Half of those surveyed said they were concerned about their decreasing home values, and 52% of those concerned about declines in their investment portfolios said they had reduced spending.
This is the first time the survey has been affected by these two factors, Discover said.
The Monitor was kept from falling to a new low by an increase in confidence during the last week of July, but 54% of respondents still rate the economy as "poor" and 73% said they thought the economy was getting worse.
A record high of 55% of consumers said their personal finances were getting worse.
"Consumers are facing a headwind from several directions, since it is unlikely that gas prices will return to last year's levels, home values are still declining and the stock market has been bearish," Margo Georgiadis, a Discover executive vice president and its chief marketing officer, said in a press release.
The drop in oil prices during the second half of July had little impact on consumer spending, as discretionary spending continued to decrease. Sixty-two percent of consumers said they have decided to change their vacation plans, the same percentage as in June.