Consumer confidence collapses
I think a lot of this stems from the ongoing housing slump, and the recent stock market turmoil. Speaking of which, the latest figures on the housing front were released just this morning. The S&P/Case-Shiller index (PDF link) of home prices in 20 top metropolitan areas fell 10.7% year-over-year in January. That was worse than the 9% drop in December and the 13th straight fall. The declines were widespread, with 19 of 20 cities reporting a YOY fall (led by Las Vegas and Miami at -19.3%, with Phoenix (-18.2%) and San Diego (-16.7%) not far behind).