Further evidence that the US economy is in the midst of a lull in growth came today in the form of the latest consumer sentiment reading. The Conference Board publishes a monthly consumer sentiment index that for the month of May, dropped to a six-month low of 60.8 from a revised 66 recorded in April.
The S&P/Case-Shiller report which tracks the latest house prices found that pricess declined by 5.1 percent in the first quarter of the year compared to the same period last year. Stubbornly high unemployment and elevated food and energy prices are making it difficult for consumers to make ends meet.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The economy has slipped into a soft patch,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York. Ã¢â‚¬Å“In the second half, weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll do better than weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been doing. As economic activity picks up, the labor market will improve as well.Ã¢â‚¬Â
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