US consumer confidence plunged in August to its lowest level since the 2007-2009 recession, after a bruising battle over the US budget slammed stock prices and pushed the nation to the brink of default.
Yesterday's data kept alive concerns the nation could slide back into a recession and spurred investors to buy government bonds on bets the US Federal Reserve would try something to help growth.
"What we are effectively going through is a crisis of confidence," said Tom Porcelli, an economist at RBC Capital Markets in New York.
The private-sector Conference Board said its index of consumer attitudes sank to 44.5, its weakest since April 2009, from a downwardly revised 59.2 the previous month. Economists had expected a smaller drop. (Reuters)