Consumer Confidence Plunges

    Shoppers pass Macy's department store,  Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011  in New York. The back-to-school season got off to a strong start as discounts and sweltering heat in July drove shoppers to air-conditioned malls. But retailers worry that momentum won't continue through the remainder of the second-biggest shopping period of the year. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

    Frank Franklin II / AP Photo

    Concerns that the U.S. might be heading toward a double-dip recession has plunged the consumer confidence index for August to its lowest level in more than two years. The industry group Conference Board said its index sank to 44.5 from July’s 59.2. Economists had expected a much smaller decline. The country’s credit rating downgrade and the stock market plunge in the past weeks also contributed to consumers tightening their belts.

    Read it at Reuters