Consumer Confidence Sinks To 16-Year-Plus Low

NEW YORK (AP) — Reports indicate U.S. consumers are the gloomiest they’ve been since the tail end of the last prolonged recession.

Inflation, sinking home values and soaring gas prices have pushed confidence to the lowest level since 1992. Consumers’ view of the economic future has never been lower, raising worries that already weak consumer spending could deteriorate further.

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index, released today, fell to 50.4 this month. That’s the lowest reading since February 1992 and half what it was a year ago.

Separately, home prices continued to tumble. April’s decline in the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index was the steepest since it was created in 2000.

On Wall Street, stocks sagged after a day of seesaw trading. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 34.93 to 11,807.43 after falling more than 100 points in earlier trading. Broader stock indicators also fell.