NEW YORK — With Americans spooked by worsening labor conditions and the continuing threat of war, consumer confidence in October suffered its biggest decline since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and fell to its lowest level in almost nine years.

The New York-based Conference Board said its monthly index of consumer confidence, based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households, plummeted 14.3 points to 79.4 from a revised 93.7 in September. It was the fifth straight decline for the index and was far worse than economists were expecting.

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