ECONOMY UPDATE….The economy continues to suck:

In the 12 months ended in February, the Case-Shiller home price index, which measures the value of single-family homes in 10 major metropolitan regions, fell 13.6 percent, the biggest decline since records began in 1987….The slump in home prices was more severe than the worst point of the recession of the 1990s, the last time values fell so far, so quickly.

….The problems have contributed to a deepening gloom, which was reinforced on Tuesday by a grim confidence survey released by the Conference Board. The private report, which surveys up to 5,000 American households, dropped to its lowest point since March 2003, at the start of the invasion of Iraq. Americans feel worse about the economy’s prospects than any time since the mid-1970s, and many are bracing for job losses.

The consumer confidence number has now dropped a staggering 28 points in just four months. And don’t forget that first quarter GDP estimates come out tomorrow. Brace yourselves for more bad news.