The latest have shown that the U.S. housing market has not yet reached bottom and that consumers are bracing for tough times ahead on weak employment prospects and rising prices, according to Reuters. On Tuesday, the Standard & Poors/Case-Shiller index of of 20 metropolitan areas dropped 0.2% in March from the previous month to 138.16, which marks a level below the 139.26 trough recorded in 2009. Home prices were down 3.6% year-over-year due to excessive supply, tight credit, and weak demand, which was a larger drop that economists had forecast.
Meanwhile, a separate report from the Conference Board showed that its index of consumer attitudes dropped to 60.8 in May from a revised level of 66.0 in April, defying economists forecast for a modest increase in the index. The drop was led by a steep decline in the gauge of expectations that lost almost 10 points to 75.2, while the sub-index for the present situation also edged down to 39.3. The groups gauges for the difficulty of getting a job and of the availability of jobs offered a conflicting view of the labor market, although fewer jobs were expected to be available in the coming months. The Conference Board saw inflation expectations rise slightly in the survey.
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