The Fireside Book Shop in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, makes a sale. Amy Sancetta/AP hide caption

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Economy

Why So Glum? Economic Optimism Dims

The latest surveys show both business owners and consumers have been losing confidence in the U.S. economy. That pessimism is just the latest blow to hopes for a speedy recovery.

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Kevin Morlan arranges packages of pork at a local Dahl's grocery store in Des Moines, Iowa. Economists are predicting meat prices will rise 7 percent this year. Charlie Neibergall/AP hide caption

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Job seekers lined up at McDonald's restaurants nationwide last week, hoping to fill one of the fast-food chain's 50,000 openings during a one-day nationwide hiring event. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

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Rising gas prices might be eating up your last raise. Steven Senne/AP hide caption

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Job seekers participate in a career counseling session at an event aimed at older unemployed people in New York in January. As states look for ways to cut spending, some economists say one solution is raising the retirement age, forcing people to pay more in taxes and reducing the cost of government pensions and Social Security benefits. Chris Hondros/Getty Images hide caption

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Home prices and sales are still depressed, but now mortgage rates are moving up. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

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Tunisians wait outside a bakery to buy bread in Tunis earlier this month. Hassene Dridi/AP hide caption

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