U.S. consumer sentiment deteriorated in October to its weakest level in nine months as the first federal government shutdown in 17 years undermined Americans’ outlook on the economy, a survey released on Friday (Oct. 11) showed.
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s preliminary reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment fell to 75.2 in October, down from 77.5 in September. According to a Reuters report, this was the lowest figure since January.
The early October reading fell short of the 76.0 forecast by economists recently polled by Reuters.
While the sentiment gauge declined for a third straight month, the size of the decrease was relatively small, as worries about a protracted shutdown were mitigated by some optimism about income and inflation, survey director Richard Curtin said.
“Consumer confidence posted a surprisingly small decline in early October despite widespread awareness of the government shutdown,” Curtin said in a statement.
“The muted response may be due to consumers giving progressively less credence to the economic scare tactics that have framed the debates over the past few years,” he said.
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