Consumer confidence fell again in February, according to a Conference Board survey released yesterday, while other data showed house prices in big US cities plunged late last year.

A fall of 18.5 % in the year to December in the Case-Shiller house price index was the biggest decline since the measure, published by Standard & Poor’s, started 21 years ago. Prices have now tumbled to levels last seen during the third quarter of 2003.

The downward momentum highlighted some of the risks to a forecast, set out by the Federal Reserve in its economic report to Congress, that the economy would stabilise this year and then rebound.

Financial Times