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Consumer confidence slides

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(Read caption) This chart shows the annual change in consumer sentiment since 2000. Current results indicate that consumer sentiment is at its lowest level since 1980.

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Friday's early release of the Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of Consumers for February indicated a decline in consumer sentiment with a reading of 72.5 dropping 6.45% below the level seen last year while one year inflation expectations declined slightly to 3.2%.

The Index of Consumer Expectations (a component of the Conference Board's Index of Leading Economic Indicators) declined to 68, and the Current Economic Conditions Index dropped to 79.6.

It's important to recognize that consumer sentiment has seriously eroded over the past few months with the current results remaining near levels not seen since 1980, a major indication that consumers are in the process of tightening even further on spending.

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