Consumer confidence fell to a 10-month low this month, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index released Oct. 25.
The month’s final index fell to a reading of minus 73.2, the lowest this year, from 77.5 in September.
Adrian Miller, strategist at GMP Securities, told Bloomberg News he blames “Washington’s October shenanigans” for the drop in confidence. “Lawmakers will need to win the heart and minds of consumers to say nothing of business leaders,” he said.
The index was lower than a preliminary 75.2 reading two weeks ago and the economists’ median forecast of a 75 reading, Bloomberg reported.
Disappointing gains in employment and the prospect of a protracted budget battle into 2014 raise the risk that consumer spending will cool as the holiday season approaches, Bloomberg reported.
“This political uncertainty is going to slow any momentum we’ve had in the past few months,” Millan Mulraine, director of U.S. rates research at TD Securities USA, told Bloomberg.