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US Housing Sees Annual Decline in Value

This September 19, 2011 photo, shows a home for sale in Newton, Massachusetts.

U.S. housing prices fell more than 4 percent during the 12-month period ending in July.

Tuesday's report from a business research group shows declines in most of the 20 cities where it tracks prices.

Comparing July with the previous month, home prices rose slightly, but analysts say the annual figures give a clearer picture of this troubled market.

Housing is a key reason that the U.S. economy is still struggling two years after the recession officially ended.

A separate report from a business group says a measure of consumer confidence increased very slightly in September, after falling sharply the previous month.

Worries about jobs were a key reason for consumers' continued bleak view of the economy.

Economists track consumer confidence for clues about the consumer spending that drives most U.S. economic activity.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.