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Consumer sentiment hits 100.7 in October vs. 100.9 estimate

  • Consumer confidence wilted slightly in late October, according to economists polled by Reuters.
  • The index hit a seven-month high in survey results earlier this month.
  • The index by The University of Michigan measures 500 consumers' attitudes on future economic prospects.
A shopper at a Walmart in East Peoria, Illinois.
Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A shopper at a Walmart in East Peoria, Illinois.

Consumer confidence declined slightly in October after clocking record highs earlier this month.

The consumer sentiment index, a survey of consumers by The University of Michigan, hit 100.7 in October, slightly below estimates of 100.9, according to economists polled by Reuters.

Earlier this month, the key economic indicator leaped 6.3 percent to 101.1, demolishing the record previously set in August.

This is only the second time that end-of-month survey results have surpassed the 100 mark since the record 1990s expansion. The previous month was in January 2004, when the index hit 103.8.

"Lingering doubts about the near term strength of the national economy were dispelled," said Richard Curtin, Survey of Consumers chief economist. "More than half of all respondents expected good times during the year ahead and anticipated the expansion to continue uninterrupted over the next five years."

Curtin said the Great Recession changed consumer attitudes about economic risks; they're "now giving greater preference to economic stability relative to economic growth," he said.

The index measures 500 consumers' attitudes on future economic prospects, in areas such as personal finances, inflation, unemployment, government policies and interest rates.

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