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Published: Tuesday, 3/31/2009

Consumer confidence stays virtually flat in March


NEW YORK A private research group says that consumers' confidence in the economy remained virtually unchanged after plummeting to historic lows in February as Americans are still nervous about the future.

The New York-based Conference Board said Tuesday that its Consumer Confidence Index rose to 26.0, from a revised 25.3 reading in February, which was itself a big drop from the 37.4 level in January. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters were anticipating a reading of 28 in March. The rise, though slight, followed three consecutive monthly drops in consumer confidence.

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