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Washington – U.S. consumer confidence plunged in April as millions lost their jobs, with an index that monitors attitudes about current business and work conditions dropping by the largest amount on record.

The Conference Board said Tuesday that its confidence index tumbled to a reading of 86.9, down from 118.8 in March. The index is composed of consumers’ assessment of present conditions and expectations about the future.

The present conditions index slumped from 166.7, to 76.4, a 90-point drop that was the largest on record. The expectations index, based on the future outlook, improved slightly from 86.8 in March to 93.8 in April.

The numbers in the present conditions index “reflects the sharp contraction in economic activity and surge in unemployment claims,” said Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at the Conference Board.

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