March 27, 2007 -- Following gains in February, consumer confidence declined in March, driven down by rising gas prices and uncertainty in the financial market, the Conference Board reported on Tuesday.

Based on a nationwide survey of 5,000 households, the New York-based private research group's consumer confidence index dropped to 107.2 from 111.2 the previous month, the report said.

While the expectations component of the index declined, consumers' assessment with present-day conditions remained steady, the report said. 

"Apprehension about the short-term future has suddenly cast a cloud over consumers' confidence," Lynn Franco, the group's director of consumer research, said in a statement. "The direction of both components over the next few months bears watching to determine whether this decline is just a bump in the road or something more substantial."

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