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consumer-confidence

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Abenomics works much like Bernankenomics. In every case, looser monetary policies and tighter fiscal policies have generated more wealth for the 1 percent while working stiffs take it in the stern sheets. It all amounts to the same thing: Ferraris for the rich and bupkis for everyone else.

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The recent jubilance among economic forecasters is enough to make even weather forecasters blush. “Just look at the bull market! Look at home prices! Look at consumer confidence!” I can understand the jubilation in the narrow sense that we’ve been down so long everything looks up. But prophecies can’t be self-fulfilling if they’re based on wishful thinking.

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The Conference Board reported Tuesday that the preliminary January figure for consumer confidence in the U.S. fell to its lowest level in more than a year. So why are consumers so glum? Because they’re deeply worried about their jobs and their incomes -- as they have every right to be.

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A survey released Friday showed that U.S. consumer confidence has fallen to the lowest point since the "stagflation" of the early 1980s. According to the survey, lower-income households, citing rising food and fuel prices, were the main source of the drop in confidence.

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