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US consumer confidence slips

[WASHINGTON] US consumer confidence fell from a more than 16-year high in April, but a surge in new home sales to an eight-month high last month suggested underlying strength in the economy despite an apparent sharp slowdown in growth in the first quarter. The economy's healthy fundamentals were also underscored by other data on Tuesday showing the biggest year-on-year increase in house prices in 2-1/2 years in February.

The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index fell to 120.3 this month from 124.9 in March, which was the highest reading since December 2000. Still, the index remained at a very high level even though consumers' assessments of current business and labor market conditions were less favorable than in March. The dip in confidence is likely related to last month's failed attempt by Republicans in the House of Representatives to pass legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the 2010 healthcare restructuring popularly known as Obamacare.

REUTERS

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