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By David A. Clarke Jr.
Blame Washington's intelligence failure, not lack of police
Topic - Chris Christopher
The nation's leading indicator of consumer confidence took an unexpected tumble in May.
More shoppers are hitting the Internet instead of the mall fueling an online purchasing boon that observers credit to rising prices at the gas pump.
Small-business owners are continuing to lose faith in the economy, fearing it is more likely to deteriorate than improve.
A mixed slate of reports Thursday showed the economy is being held back by high gas prices and sluggish hiring.
Americans are losing faith that the economy will keep improving, according to a monthly survey.
American businesses and consumers are giving the economy a boost by spending more, but the troubled housing market remains an obstacle, new data show.
"We know that Gray Thursday was somewhat successful," said Chris Christopher, U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight. "So those shoppers that went out on Gray Thursday weren't out in full force on Black Friday."
"Consumer confidence is taking a beating," he said. "If consumer mood is not doing too well, consumers don't spend as much. When people don't feel as much at ease, they are a little more reluctant to spend that extra dollar and splurge."