WASHINGTON - Confidence in the U.S. economy and Federal government policies is at its lowest level of the year, according to the IBD/TIPP poll of consumers on the economic outlook, Investor's Business Daily and TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence reported Tuesday.

The IBD/TIPP economic optimism index declined 1.8 percentage points to 46.7 in June, below the 50.0 mark indicating optimism and just 2.3 points above its reading of 44.4 in December 2007 -- when the economy entered into the recession.

The six-month economic outlook, which measures how consumers feel about the economy's prospects, fell 3.6 percentage points to 46.8. The sub-index was 32.1 when the economy entered the last recession in December 2007.

The personal financial outlook for November, which gauges how Americans feel about their personal finances for the next six months, fell 0.2 percentage points to 56.1.

Confidence in federal policies also took a hit, dropping 1.6 percentage points to 37.1.

"Consumer confidence declined as high unemployment persists,"  said TIPP President Raghavan Mayur. 

"According to our survey, 24% of households have at least one member unemployed and looking for work, which translates to approximately 30 million Americans.  Forty-three percent say the economy is growing, while 54% think that the economy is slowing down or in a recession," Mayur added.

Terry Jones, associate editor of Investor's Business Daily, noted, "The jobs numbers tell the tale: Economic confidence is falling as job growth weakens." 

The IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index has a good track record of foreshadowing the confidence indicators put out later each month by the University of Michigan and The Conference Board. IBD/TIPP conducted the national poll of 912 adults from June 1 to June 8, the IBD and TIPP said.

Market News International is a real-time global news service for fixed-income and foreign exchange market professionals. See www.marketnews.com.

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