Unrest in the financial markets and housing sector has consumers on edge, a new survey says. The Washington Post/ABC News "consumer comfort index" nosedived this week, displaying the biggest 1-week plunge in the poll's 22-year history, the newspaper reports. The current reading nearly matches the lows reached after Katrina struck 2 years ago.
The poll asks Americans their opinions of the national economy, their personal finances, and the general buying climate; all three indicators were down this week. Notably, homeowners haven't had so little faith in the financial world since November 2005, and only 32% surveyed rate the economy positively, compared to 44% a month ago.