WASHINGTON – Consumer confidence fell in July to the lowest level since November, posing a threat to the biggest part of the economy.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final index of consumer sentiment declined to 67.8 this month from 76 in June. The preliminary measure was 66.5.

Employment growth has been slow to take hold, and lower home prices are depressing wealth. The lack of confidence may further restrain consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of the economy, and limit the pace of growth.

“Consumers have a lot to be concerned about,” said Eric Green, chief market economist at TD Securities Inc. in New York. “Private job growth is showing signs of slowing, not accelerating,” he said, and stock prices have declined since peaking in April.

Economists forecast the index would fall from the previous month to 67, according to the median of 58 projections in a Bloomberg News survey. Estimates ranged from 57.5 to 73.

The University of Michigan’s gauge of current conditions, which reflects Americans’ perceptions of their financial situation and whether it is a good time to buy big-ticket items like cars, fell to 76.5 from 85.6 in the prior month.

The index of consumer expectations for six months from now, which more closely projects the direction of spending, dropped to 62.3 from 69.8.

Consumers in the survey said they expect an inflation rate of 2.7 percent over the next 12 months, compared with 2.8 percent in June.

Over the next five years, according to figures tracked by Federal Reserve policy makers, Americans expected a 2.9 percent rate of inflation, compared with 2.8 percent the prior month.

Stocks have been gyrating amid concerns about the economy and cooling global growth and optimism about companies’ second-quarter earnings. The Standard Poor’s 500 Index has fallen 0.4 percent so far in July through Thursday.

Job gains will be needed to boost sentiment and spending. In June, private employers added fewer workers than projected by economists, while overall payrolls fell, reflecting a drop in federal census workers. The Labor Department is scheduled to release its July payrolls report Aug. 6.