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Consumer Confidence Index Slips

After rising steadily in recent months, the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index decreased from 56.5 in January to 46.0 in February. A 100 on the scale equates to the index level of 1985. Consumers also remain extremely pessimistic about their income prospects. This combination of earnings and job anxieties is likely to continue to curb spending." Concerns about current business conditions pushed the Present Situation Index down to 19.4, its lowest level in 27 years. The Expectations Index declined to 63.8 from 77.3 last month. 2/24 HCN