Nearly two years after the end of the US economic downturn, Americans still describe the economy as being in a recession. According to a report released by Conference Board, a US-based nonprofit business research association, consumer confidence has hit an eight-month low. "In a downturn, the No. 1 problem is basically confidence," said Chris Christopher, an economist with IHS Global Insight. "Trying to get people to spend a little more, and it's a very difficult thing to do."Meanwhile, Ken Goldstein, a Conference Board employee, is of the opinion that no economic recovery is predicted in the near future.The US recession began in late 2007 and officially ended in June 2009.Meanwhile, US real unemployment rate in 2011 is almost twice what it was before the onset of the recession in 2007.