According to Bloomberg, confidence among consumers fell in October by the most since August 2011 as the budget impasse and debt-ceiling negotiations impacted market outlooks.
The Conference Board’s index slumped to 71.2 from a revised 80.2 last month, the New York-based private research group said today. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a decrease this month to 75. The October reading was the weakest in six months.
“What we’re seeing is more hesitancy among consumers given the fiscal policy uncertainty and the absence of confidence about future employment prospects,” said Michael Brown, an economist at Wells Fargo & Co. in Charlotte, North Carolina, who projected a reading of 71.5. “It’s very clear that consumers are going into this holiday season more restrained than last year in terms of the pace of spending.”