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The Conference Board said yesterday that its Consumer Confidence Index for March dropped to 107.2 from February’s 111.2. The new number is the lowest since November 2006.

Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board Consumer Research Center, released a statement: “Apprehension about the short-term future has suddenly cast a cloud over consumers' confidence…The recent turmoil in financial markets coupled with the run up in gasoline prices may have contributed to consumers' heightened sense of uncertainty and concern. The direction of both components over the next few months bears watching to determine whether this decline is just a bump in the road or something more substantial.”

The Conference Board’s Present Situation Index increased a bit, to 137.6 from 137.1 in February. The Expectations Index declined to 86.9 from 93.8.
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