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Consumers lose confidence in economic turnaround

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Consumer confidence deteriorated further in April as weak business and job conditions and rising food and gas prices force Americans to tighten their spending, The Conference Board reported today. The Consumer Confidence Index fell to 62.3 this month from a reading of 65.9 in March, with the Present Situation Index diving 10 points, from 90.6 to 80.7. "This month's decline in consumer confidence was the result of yet another sharp decline in the Present Situation Index," Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, said in a statement. "This continued weakening suggests that not only has the feeble level of growth in the first quarter spilled over into the second quarter, but that economic conditions may have slowed even further. And, not only are lackluster business and job conditions eroding confidence, but rising gasoline prices are undoubtedly heightening concerns. Consumers' inflation expectations continue to rise and this meas...