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Consumers Still in a Funk

According to the Conference Board, consumers' outlook was relatively unchanged in March, following the sharp decline measured in February that took the index to its all-time low.

The Index at 26.0 (1985=100), is up from 25.3 in February. In March 2008, the Consumer Confidence Index was 65.9.

Its two main parts also remained down. The Present Situation Index fell to 21.5 from 22.3 last month. The Expectations Index increased to 28.9 from 27.3 in February, said the Board. A year ago, these two measures stood at 90.6 and 49.4, respectively.

"The Present Situation Index suggests that the overall state of the economy remains weak and that more job losses are on the horizon," said Lynn Franco, director of the Board's Consumer Research Center. "Apprehension about the outlook for the economy, the labor market and earnings continues to weigh heavily on consumers' attitudes."

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