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updated: 3/26/2013 9:40 AM

Consumer confidence falls in March

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  • Shoppers look at clothing on sale at the Footloose store in Mt. Lebanon, Pa. The Conference Board, a New York-based private research group, said its reading of consumer confidence fell in March after rebounding last month.

      Shoppers look at clothing on sale at the Footloose store in Mt. Lebanon, Pa. The Conference Board, a New York-based private research group, said its reading of consumer confidence fell in March after rebounding last month.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Americans are less confident in the economy than they were last month as massive government spending cuts have stoked economic uncertainty.

The Conference Board, a New York-based private research group, said its reading of confidence fell in March after rebounding last month.

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The index is closely watched by economists because it makes a monthly gauge of how Americans are feeling about their jobs, incomes and other bread-and-butter issues. That's important because consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of U.S. economic activity.

The March confidence index fell to 59.7 from a revised reading of 68 in February. That's also below the 68.7 reading that analysts polled by research firm FactSet expected.

Anxiety about $85 billion in across-the-board government spending cuts that took effect March 1 caused the decline, the group says.

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