Consumer Reports’ Consumer Sentiment Index rose slightly from 46.2 in June to 48.5 in July but remained in negative territory, as the stagnant job market is making consumers cautious about spending.

“The economy is treading water and really hasn’t shown any momentum toward recovery,” said Ed Farrell, a director at Consumer Reports National Survey Research Center. “Consumers remain cautious, especially households with income less than $50,000, who have been hurt the worst and face the biggest stresses regarding jobs, unpaid bills and healthcare access and affordability.”

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