U.S. consumer confidence, which has declined during the last two months, has been weakest in the New England region over the last year, according to an analysis released by The Conference Board. This area – which includes Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont – has also registered declines in help-wanted job advertising. The Conference Board's consumer confidence index for this region declined to 77.3 from 82.3 last month. In fact, the index for this region has not been this low since last October, when it registered 75.5. In the last year, The Conference Board's help-wanted job advertising index for the region declined to 23 from 27 (from August 2003 to August 2004). "New England is very sensitive to downturns in the high tech and international trade sectors. While high tech had been recovering, it has hit a speed bump in recent months," said Conference Board Economist Ken Goldstein. "Export growth, surprisingly, dropped sharply ea...
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