Bottom falls out of U.S. consumer confidence

03/17/2013 | USA Today

Persistently high U.S. unemployment and scaremongering over budget issues in Washington contributed to a sharp drop in consumer confidence, which fell to its worst reading since 2011 as gauged by a University of Michigan/Thomson Reuters survey. Economists had projected a slight increase, but the index instead plunged from 77.6 in February to 71.8. Nearly a third of those surveyed predicted slowing economic growth, and nearly 4 in 10 said they expected rising unemployment.

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