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Is Consumer Confidence Dropping?

This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.

I don't know if you noticed, but consumer confidence is at a two year low in the United States. There are all kinds of ideas about why that is — price of gas, the housing bubble, hurricanes.

I can report with some authority that consumer confidence in my house is not lagging. A teenage boy I know well was regaling me recently with the virtues and prices of the newest technologically advanced big screen TV sets.

We went crazy a couple of years ago and bought a big screen. It was our first new TV in ages. I thought I'd be out of the new TV market for awhile. And while I may be, this teenager I know well has not been able to curb his enthusiasm for the newer and cheaper screens. Or for phones and iPods and computers and in the last year, clothes.

I say, as my father said, "You know, money doesn't grow on trees."

He says, "Look how cool this is."

I'm confident this teenager I know is ready to consume his butt off.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on manyCBS Radio News affiliates across the country.

By Harry Smith

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