Consumer Confidence Declines Sharply

Consumer confidence numbers released Tuesday were down sharply. The Conference Board reports that Americans expectations for the future fell to a 35-year low. People in three cities across the country explain how personal the economic downturn is for them.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

Consumer confidence is down sharply. The Conference Board reported today that Americans' expectations for the future fell to a 35-year low. We'll get an economist's take coming up.

First, a sampling of consumers' views from Atlanta, Hartford, Connecticut, and Southern California.

Ms. CHRIS KENIMOUTH(ph): I'm Chris Kenimouth from Culver City, California. We are trying to cut back on any little things to save money.

Mr. ARTHUR SCHWARZ(ph): My name is Arthur Schwarz. I'm from Culver City. I'm worried about the younger people and the people who are suffering.

Ms. NAIDA MENISS(ph): My name is Naida Meniss and I live in Los Angeles. Groceries I pay 20 percent more.

Ms. LETICIA BROWN(ph): Leticia Brown. I'm currently from Michigan. I'm very, very concerned - in my neighborhood alone, say in a neighborhood of 200 homes and currently we have 32 that are currently either foreclosed on or that are currently being sold, so I am currently concerned.

Ms. LASHAWN PERRY(ph): I'm LaShawn Perry. I'm from Conyers, Georgia. I'm in a mode of saving and conserving and not being a loose spender, so it's a good situation for me right now.

Mr. KWAME GIBBS(ph): My name is Kwame Gibbs from Hartford, Connecticut. I'm worried about the student loans for my children, you know, the increase in gas prices.

Ms. BRENDA PIRELLA(ph): My name is Brenda Pirella. I live in West Hartford, Connecticut. I feel pretty good. I'm concerned about saving for retirement and my kids going to college.

SIEGEL: Shoppers in Hartford, Connecticut, Atlanta and Southern California.

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