Consumer Confidence Slips Amid Bad News

The Reuters consumer sentiment index dropped to its lowest level in a year this month. That may stem from a barrage of negative economic news. The supply of unsold homes just rose to a 16-year high, suggesting the worst is yet to come for the domestic housing market.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

NPR's business news starts with Americans starting to feel less wealthy.

The trouble in the stock market and falling house prices are taking their toll, and one way to measure the effect is consumer confidence - how much Americans are likely to shop for clothes or go to the movies. It's important because consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of the U.S. economy.

And this month the Reuters consumer sentiment index fell to its lowest level in a year, which may reflect the economic news. The supply of unsold homes just rose to a 16-year high, and that suggests the worst is yet to come for the domestic housing market.

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