Recession

Most Americans Think U.S. in Recession

Economic optimism at 15 month low

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With tax hikes and rising gasoline prices sapping consumers' pocketbooks and politicians preaching sequester gloom and doom, the IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index plunged 5.1 points in March to 42.2, the lowest since December 2011.

The federal economic policies confidence gauge fell 11% to 35.5, also a 15-month low. The six-month outlook index cratered 18% to 38.8, the worst since October 2011. The personal financial outlook reading lost 4.4% to 52.2, though that's still above the neutral 50 level separating optimism and pessimism.