US Consumer confidence hits 5-year low
Wednesday, 30 April 2008

REUTERS, NEW YORK - Confidence among the US consumers fell to a five-year low in April as they confronted the grimmest jobs market since autumn 2004, the Conference Board said on Tuesday.

The private Conference Board's index of consumer sentiment fell to 62.3 in April, the lowest since March 2003, when the Iraq war was launched, from an upwardly revised 65.9 in March.

Despite the fall, the result beat the median forecast of economists polled by Reuters, which projected a reading of 62.0. Reflecting worries about the labor market, the gauge of respondents' feelings that jobs are plentiful slid to 16.6 in April, the lowest since September 2004, from 19.2 in March.

A measure of the view that jobs are hard to get rose to 27.9 - the highest since November 2004 - from 24.5. Consumers' assessment of their present situation fell to 80.7, the lowest since December 2003, from 90.6.

The release by the Conference Board, a private business and research organization, follows Friday's Reuters/University of Michigan gauge of consumer sentiment, which hit its weakest in 26 years on heightened worries over jobs, inflation and the moribund housing market.

Earlier on Tuesday, data showed prices of existing US single-family homes extended their slump in February, with 17 of 20 measured regions posting record annual falls, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case Shiller home price index.

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