Confidence among American consumers is at its lowest for 26 years.
The Consumer Confidence Index from the Conference Board business organisation slipped to 47.7 from a revised 53.4 in September.
Analysts were expecting the index to be unchanged or even up slightly.
Rising unemployment played a major role in knocking confidence. The US jobless rate rose 9.8% in September.
IHS Global Insight chief economist Nariman Behravesh says confidence is likely to remain low for some time, as the unemployment picture will be 'pretty bad' for some time.