Morale falls in United States

AMERICAN consumer confidence plummeted to a two and a half year low this month, in a worrying sign for the US economy.

“What’s more, at 39.8, confidence is far below the long-term average of 92.8,” added Paul Ashworth of Capital Economics.

“Aside from a few months during the height of the recession between November 2008 and March 2009, the index has never been lower in its 40-year history,” he warned.

The main index score lost 6.6 points from September to October. The present situation sub-index fell to 26.3 from 33.3. The expectations sub-index dropped to 48.7 from 55.1 last month.

Meanwhile, the S&P / Case Shiller index of prices in 20 American cities, also released yesterday, showed that house prices were stagnant in August. Analysts had hoped for a modest 0.1 per cent month on month rise.