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Consumer Confidence Dips

Consumer confidence fell this month, according to a widely watched index put together by The Conference Board, a business research group.

It says its reading slipped to 63.4 from 72 in February, and that inflation fears and anxiety about what higher prices mean for personal income drove the decline.

The February reading was a three-year high.

Economists watch the index because consumers purchase about 70 percent of all the goods and services the nation produces. So, their mood is a key indicator of how strong demand will be in coming months.

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.