Americans are focusing on the good amid the latest barrage of conflicting economic news. The Consumer Confidence Index barely budged in March after hitting its highest level since before the financial crisis began in February.
Consumer prices stayed flat in November, further evidence that inflation has cooled off. Energy costs dropped for the second straight month, which offset higher prices that Americans paid for food, clothes and medical services. The consumer price index was unchanged in November, the Labor Department said Friday. That followed a 0.1 percent decrease in October.
At Mo'joe Cafe in Berkeley, CA, customers huddle over their laptops and lattes, searching for jobs or working remotely as contractors. But business overall -- meaning mainly the "morning rush" -- is slow, and has been since the economic downturn. Could coffee sales be an index of economic health?