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Consumer confidence deteriorates

New York – Noting, “The glass remains half empty,” Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Research Center said the April reading of the Consumer Confidence Index does not bode well for a strong summer retail season.

“The percentage of respondents intending to take a vacation over the next six months has fallen to a 30-year low,” Franco pointed out, “another sign of consumers turning more cost conscious.”

The Index is at 62.3 (1985=100), down from 65.9 in March, while its Present Situation Index component fell to 80.7 from 90.6.

“This continued weakening suggests that not only has the feeble level of growth in the first quarter spilled over into the second quarter, but that economic conditions may have slowed even further,” suggested Franco. “Consumers’ inflation expectations continue to rise and this measure now matches the all-time high reached in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.”

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