Bloomberg News 
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Feb. 23 (Bloomberg) — Confidence among U.S. consumers fell more than anticipated in February to the lowest level since April 2009 as the outlook for jobs diminished, a sign spending may be slow to gain traction as the economy recovers.
The Conference Board’s confidence index declined to 46, below the lowest forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of economists, from a revised 56.5 in January, a report from the New York-based private research group showed today. Concerns about the economy and the labor market pushed an index of current conditions to its lowest in 27 years.
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Stocks extended losses and Treasuries gained after the report indicated a lack of job growth and impaired household finances threaten to restrain consumer spending. Without sustained growth in the biggest part of the economy, the expansion may be slow to gain momentum.
The economy “may not be out of the woods,” said Steven Ricchiuto, chief economist at Mizuho Securities USA Inc. in New York. Most of the deterioration “is labor market related. Consumer spending is going to disappoint throughout most of the year,” he said.
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