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October 22, 2020 1:45 PM, EDT

US Consumer Comfort Falls to Seven-Week Low

Shoppers walk through the Queens Center shopping mall in Queens, N.Y., on Sept. 9.Shoppers walk through the Queens Center shopping mall in Queens, N.Y., on Sept. 9. (Peter Foley/Bloomberg News)

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A weekly measure of U.S. consumer confidence fell to a seven-week low on significant declines in attitudes toward the economy and buying climate — just about two weeks before the presidential election.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell 1.6 points to 46.6 the week of Oct. 12, data released Oct. 22 showed. Americans’ optimism about their personal finances declined 1.3 points to 60.3, its lowest point since August, while a measure of comfort in the buying climate decreased 2.1 points. Such a decline means that Americans may be growing cautious about their spending.

A measure of confidence in the economy dropped 1.5 points from its six-month high in the prior week. This was the seventh consecutive month where four in 10 Americans or more said the economy is getting worse, the longest since a two-year streak during the Great Recession.

RELATED: Consumer Confidence in US Posts Biggest Gain in 17 Years

The Bloomberg monthly economic expectations index rose to a seven-month high of 43 in October, as a smaller share of respondents said the economy was getting worse.

Expectations of the economy are largely partisan ahead of the election. Among Democrats, 60% say the economy is getting worse compared to 39% of independents and 22% of Republicans.

The index saw a 7.8-point decrease since Sept. 20 among Americans with a household income of $100,000 or more.

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