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US Economy

US consumer confidence weakens in March

Key Points
  • American consumers were feeling less confident this month amid continued volatility in the financial markets.
  • The Conference Board, a business research group, says its consumer confidence index fell to 124.1 in March from 131.4 in February.
A shopper makes a purchase at the J.C. Penney department store in North Riverside, Illinois.
Kamil Krzaczynski | Reuters

American consumers were feeling less confident this month amid continued volatility in the financial markets.

The Conference Board, a business research group, says its consumer confidence index fell to 124.1 in March from 131.4 in February.

The index, covering through March 14, measures consumers' assessment of current economic conditions and their expectations for the next six months. Both declined in March.

The index had climbed in February amid a rebound in the stock market after Christmas and an end to the partial shutdown of the federal government, as well as signs of progress toward ending the trade standoff between the U.S. and China.

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Real Estate

US housing starts fall in February on weak single-family homebuilding

Key Points
  • U.S. homebuilding fell more than expected in February as construction of single-family homes dropped to more than a 1-1/2-year low.
  • The outlook for the housing market is improving, however, as mortgage rates decline.
  • Housing starts decreased 8.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.162 million units last month, the Commerce Department said.