The U.S. just released two critical data points on the state of the consumer. The Consumer Confidence reading for March dropped 8.6 points to 63.4 from 72 in February (market consensus for 64). Meanwhile the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city composite house price index dropped 3.0% year on year in January, or -0.2% month on month. So at first glance, both results were reasonably bad, but before we jump to conclusions, let's take a quick look at the details.
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