New York (AP) Consumer confidence sank to a five-year low as tight credit markets, rising prices and worsening job prospects made many worry that the economy is falling into recession.
The conference board, which is a business-backed research group, says in a report released today that its consumer confidence index plunged to 64.5 in March from a revised 76.4 in February.
The reading was far below the 73.0 expected by Wall Street analysts.
The index has been weakening since July, and is watched because lower consumer confidence tends to result in lower consumer buying, which is a drag on the economy.
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