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Thursday 29th of October 2009
October 27, 2009    

US consumer sentiment falls unexpectedly in October

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by Kay Murchie
US consumer sentiment falls unexpectedly in October

US consumer confidence took a dive in October after the closely-monitored Consumer Confidence Index from the Conference Board fell to 47.7 from a revised 53.4 in September.

It is the second time in two months that the index has fallen and analysts were surprised by the fall after they were expecting the reading to stay the same or to rise slightly.

The index still remains far away from the 90 points required to show that the world’s largest economy is on solid footing.

Commenting on the figures, Conference Board research director Lynn Franco, said the negative outlook was likely to hit retailers that rely on Thanksgiving and Christmas sales.

In the meantime, a separate leading US index has revealed a rise in house prices in August.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas rose by 1.2% compared with July. However, prices are still 11.4% below August 2008 levels.

David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at Standard & Poor’s, warned that at the end of next month, the Government is expected to drop a tax credit for first-time buyers that has provided a boost to the property market.

Today’s mixed economic data sent the Dow Jones index down by 24 points, or 0.2%, at 9843.93.

In the meantime, official figures show that the US unemployment rate reached a 26-year high in September of 9.8%.

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