Americans' confidence in the U.S. economy slipped in July, making it the second consecutive month of pessimistic data, according to Gallup's Economic Confidence Index.

For the month of July, the Gallup Economic Confidence Index averaged -26, a drop from -22 in June and closer to January's low of -27.

During the first five months of the year, the nation grew more optimistic with the Gallup Confidence Index rising as high as -17 in the spring before dropping again in the summer months.

Gallup points out that today's index score of -26 is still far better than the -42 recorded in July of last year.

Only 14% of Americans said the economy is in good or excellent shape, while 42% characterized today's economy as poor.

When evaluating the economic outlook rating for 2012, the negative 23 index score is a five-percentage-point decline from June.

Thirty-six percent of Americans said the economy is improving, and 59% said it's getting worse, the lowest economic outlook rating of 2012, Gallup said.