From Gallup comes the sad reality:

While both components of the index — Americans’ ratings of current economic conditions and their perceptions of the economy’s direction — were down in August, the outlook dimension slipped more, falling three points to -26, from -23. As a result, Americans’ economic outlook is now worse than in any month since December 2011.

Consumer perceptions of current economic conditions have not varied much in 2012. The -29 rating for August is just one point below the July average, and similar to levels seen from January through March.