Consumer confidence falls after government shutdown

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON — Consumer confidence fell this month to its lowest level in nearly two years, surprising analysts who had expected a rebound from the recent shutdown-induced downturn in Americans’ view of the economy.

The preliminary consumer sentiment index for November from the University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters dropped to 72 from 73.2 at the end of October.

Analysts had expected the index to rise to 75 after it had plunged in October. Instead, the index fell to its lowest point since December 2011.

The downturn was at odds with the upbeat October jobs report released by the Labor Department on Friday, which well exceeded analyst expectations.

“Following the end of the shutdown, consumers were somewhat more optimistic about the outlook for the economy, but thus far the rebound has been lackluster,” Richard Curtin, the survey’s director, told Reuters.

In two key areas, consumers were less optimistic about economic conditions than they were in October, when the federal government was partly closed for 16 days because of an impasse between the White House and congressional Republicans over spending and the debt limit.

The index of consumer expectations dropped to 62.3 from 62.5 last month, Reuters said. And the read on current economic conditions fell to 87.2 from 89.9 last month.


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