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The Conference Board’s U.S. consumer confidence index fell sharply in March following an uptick in February. The index now stands at a reading of 59.7 (1985=100), down from 68.0 in February.
“The recent sequester has created uncertainty regarding the economic outlook and as a result, consumers are less confident,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board.
Only 12.3 percent of consumers anticipated more jobs in the month ahead when asked in March compared to 16.1 percent when asked the same question in February, according to the index’s survey. And the percent of people saying business conditions are “good” fell to 16.0 percent in March from 17.6 percent in February.