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The Conference Board's consumer confidence index fell further in March following a sharp decline in February and remains at a five-year low. The index now stands at 64.5, down from 76.4 in February.
"Looking ahead, consumers' outlook for business conditions, the job market, and their income prospects is quite pessimistic and suggests further weakening may be on the horizon," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board consumer research center.
Consumers claiming conditions are "bad" increased to 24.5% in March from 21.3% in the previous month. Those saying jobs are "hard to get" increased to 25.1% from 23.4%. Consumers claiming jobs are plentiful fell to 18.8% from 21.5%.
The index's survey is based on a sample of 5,000 U.S. households.