US consumer confidence slumps as house prices flatline

New York streets
Image caption US consumer confidence still fragile

US consumer confidence dropped in October to its lowest level since March 2009, according to the latest monthly Conference Board report.

Its closely watched consumer index sank to 39.8 this month, from an upwardly revised 46.4 in September.

A reading of 90 or above indicates a healthy economy on the index, which measures consumers' attitudes to jobs and spending in the short term.

In other figures, a house price index showed that in August prices were flat.

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index showed that single-family house prices increased by just 0.2% in August from July. Prices were down 3.8% from August 2010.

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