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U.S. Economy: Confidence Falls as Home Values Decline

By Bob Willis

Confidence among American consumers fell in May to the lowest level since 1992 as the two-year housing slump showed no sign of bottoming.

The Conference Board’s confidence index declined more than forecast to 57.2. The S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index dropped 14.4 percent in March from a year earlier, the most since the figures were first published in 2001. Sales of new homes were the second-lowest since 1991 in April.

The slide in home values, along with gasoline near $4 a gallon and rising unemployment, threatens to hobble consumer spending.

When confidence is as bad as it is on the consumer side, it’s hard to believe we’re going to be buying a lot of homes in the near term,” said Scott Anderson, a senior economist at Wells Fargo & Co. in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

-from Bloomberg

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