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CONSUMER BUY PLANS DOWN, CONFIDENCE DIPS.

NEW YORK-Consumers' plans to purchase homes, major appliances and carpets were all down in April, reflecting the third monthly drop in consumer confidence.

According to The Conference Board, a business research group that issues the monthly index, consumer confidence slipped to 136.9 this month, the lowest level since January. Although the January index was among the highest on record -- a reflection of the longest economic boom in American history -- a steady drop usually foretells an economic slowdown.

Based on a representative sample of 5,000 households, the bellwether index showed that intentions within the next six months to purchase almost all major appliances and carpets were down in April. Plans for ranges were up slightly, and plans for new air conditioners were flat. Also down were plans to purchase new television sets and automobiles.

A contributing factor to the decline in confidence may have been perceptions that the employment situation is becoming worse.
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Comment:CONSUMER BUY PLANS DOWN, CONFIDENCE DIPS.
Author:Weber, Nathan
Publication:HFN The Weekly Newspaper for the Home Furnishing Network
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2000
Words:154
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