The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index fell 40.4% in March from the same month the previous year to an anemic 65.4 (1985 = 100). That mark was 15.6% below February's revised figure.
The Expectations Index declined to 47.9, while the Present Situation Index decreased to 89.2.
Consumers' short-term expectations also deteriorated further in March. Those expecting business conditions to worsen over the next six months increased to 25.4%, while those anticipating business conditions to improve declined to 8.1%.
Said Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center: "Consumers' confidence in the state of the economy continues to fade and the Index remains at a five-year low. Looking ahead, consumers' outlook for business conditions, the job market and their income prospects is quite pessimistic and suggests further weakening may be on the horizon. The Expectations Index, in fact, is now at a 35-year low, levels not seen since the Oil Embargo and Watergate."