By and  on August 14, 2011

Two weeks of wild swings in the global markets and renewed fears about the banking sector have taken a toll on consumer confidence, which was already shaky and contributed to the decline in July department store sales.

The midmonth update of the Thomson Reuters-University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers showed that consumer sentiment hit its lowest level since 1980, falling to 54.9 in early August from 63.7 in July — the index’s third-straight decline.

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