Feb. 23 Consumer confidence fell sharply in February after edging up for the previous three months, according to the latest Consumer Confidence Index report from The Conference Board.
The overall Index fell to 46.0 from January 56.5 level. The Present Situation Index dropped to 19.4 from 25.2 in January, hitting its lowest level in 27 years. The Expectations Index declined more than 13 points to 63.8.
The number of consumers calling present business conditions "good" decreased to 6.2%, a drop of more than two points. Those calling business conditions "bad" rose to 46.3% from 44.7%.
Consumers were also more gloomy about job prospects. Those saying jobs are "hard to get" rose to 47.7% from 46.5%. Those who call jobs "plentiful" decreased to 3.6% from 4.4%.
However, seasonably adjusted home prices in 20 cities rose in December, extending an upward trend to seven months, reported the S&P/Case Shiller home price index. The unadjusted figures indicated a slight decline for the second consecutive month, but seasonal factors play a strong role in housing prices, with prices rising in spring and summer and declining in the winter.
Analysts had a mixed view of the data. The seaonally adjusted results point to a continuation of mid-year gains. The unadjusted numbers were viewed as weakening the liklihood of a housing recovery in the near term.