Interest Rate Roundup

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Consumer confidence plunges to lowest level ever

Now THAT was a 2X4 across the face. I'm talking about the Consumer Confidence report from the Conference Board. It plunged to 25 in February from 37.4 in January. That was far, far worse than the 35 reading that economists were looking for and the worst reading in recorded history (which stretches back to 1967).

The present situations index dropped to 21.2 from 29.7, while the index that measures expectations about the future fell to 27.5 from 42.5. Readings on employment deteriorated substantially, with many more respondents characterizing jobs as "hard to get." Buying plans for automobiles and housing both declined, though the percentage of Americans who said they plan to buy appliances ticked up.

Long bond futures are at their day's high in the wake of this news (+1 5/32 to 129 2/32). Ten-year note yields are down about 4 bps to 2.72%.


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