Consumers Are Glum

A confidence index is at its lowest in six years.


A weak Easter sales season and gloomy performance at some of the country's most important corporate giants could make anyone pessimistic. The RBC Cash Index found that confidence among America's consumers has fallen to the lowest reading in that index's six-year history.

Confidence dropped from 33.1 in March to 29.5 in April, the lowest since 2002. The index has registered a precipitous drop from a year ago, when it was at 85.4. The results come from a survey of 1,005 U.S. adults that asks questions about attitudes on overall conditions, employment conditions, and expectations. The survey also probes consumers' spending habits.