Consumer confidence declined in October to the lowest level in six months, the New York-based Conference Board said Oct. 29.
The group’s monthly index fell to a reading of 71.2 from 80.2 a month earlier, the biggest decline since August 2011, the group said.
The reading was below economists’ median forecast of a 75 reading, Bloomberg News reported. Estimates from economists ranged from 70 to 82.
An improvement in confidence may increase consumer spending, which accounts for 70% of the economy.
“We had lost a little momentum going into the shutdown,” Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Pierpont Securities told Bloomberg. “It could be a lackluster holiday retail season, and I think we’re going to continue plodding along here.”
Business inventories rose 0.3% in August, and sales increased 0.3%, the Commerce Department reported in a separate report.
The rise matched economists forecast, according to Bloomberg News.