Declining U.S. Consumer Confidence Sparks New Recession Fears

Washington, D.C.–Consumer confidence sunk to a five-year low in March, increasing concern that the economy could be sliding into a recession, according to the Conference Board’s confidence index.Driven by consumer concern about the weak labor market and higher food and energy costs, the index dropped from 76.4 in February to 64.5 in March, the Financial Times reports. Economists had expected a smaller decline to around 74. “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 the Conference Board’s Lynn Franco.The index is at its lowest level since the early 1990s, except for a brief period in 2003 that marked the start of the Iraq war.