By Marcus Leach

According to the latest Conference Board report for August US consumer confidence is at its lowest level since April 2009.

A reading of 90 or above on the index signals a healthy economy, but in August the reading was at 44.5, down from the revised figure of 59.2 in July.

"What we are effectively going through is a crisis of confidence," said Tom Porcelli, an economist at RBC Capital Markets in New York.

The latest data will comes as a body blow to the White House, especially after figures from the Department of Commerce showed that consumer spending rose by 0.8% in July.

With consumer spending accounting for two-thirds of the US's economy it is a closely watched and trusted figure.

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