Confidence among U.S. consumers stayed near a record low and a survey of purchasing managers showed business deteriorated further in March, indicating the economy remains deep in a recession.
The Conference Board’s confidence index was at 26 this month from 25.3, the lowest reading since data began in 1967, in February. The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago Inc. said its business barometer decreased more than forecast to 31.4, from 34.2 the prior month. Readings below 50 signal a contraction. U.S. business activity contracted in March for a sixth consecutive month. [via Bloomberg]