Table: Breakdown of Total Bank Credit
Headline: Home prices drop, and consumers turn gloomy
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Home prices fell more steeply than expected in November, and consumer confidence soured in January, highlighting the hurdles still facing the economic recovery.
The S&P/Case-Shiller composite index of single-family home prices in 20 metropolitan areas declined 0.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, a survey showed on Tuesday, a bigger drop than the 0.5 percent economists expected.
The decrease added on to the 0.7 percent decline seen in October from September.
Separately, a report from The Conference Board said an index of consumer attitudes fell to 61.1 in January from a revised 64.8 the month before, as Americans turned gloomy about the job market and their income prospects.
The data frustrated expectations for an increase after sharp gains in November and December.
"We are braced for a more bumpy picture over the next few months. A lot of expectations probably ran away or got a little too lofty coming into the end of the year," said Sean Incremona, economist at 4Cast Ltd in New York.
"We are still in a very modest recovery, and we do see consumption slowing this quarter, and data like this supports that picture."
The economy accelerated at its fastest pace in 1-1/2 years in the final months of 2011, but early 2012 could see weaker growth. A beleaguered housing market and lackluster consumer spending remain among the biggest challenges for the fragile recovery.