Consumer sentiment slips in October reading, remains near historically high levels

  • Consumer sentiment for October was weaker than anticipated.
  • The index has slumped since March when it reached its highest level since 2004 with a reading of 101.4.

Consumer sentiment for October was weaker than anticipated in the latest survey result, although the index remained near historically high levels.

The University of Michigan's monthly survey of consumers hit 98.6 in the final reading of October, below the 99 expected by economists surveyed by Refinitiv. The key economic indicator hit 100.1 in September's final reading.

"The Consumer Sentiment Index has been higher thus far in 2018 (98.5) than in any prior year since 2000, which was the last year of the longest expansion since the mid-1800s," Richard Curtin, chief economist for The University of Michigan's survey, said in a statement. "Importantly, stock price declines, rising inflation and interest rates, and the negative mid-term election campaigns, have not acted to undermine consumer confidence."

"The data only indicate that the tipping point toward escalating pessimism has not been reached," Curtin added. "This resilience was primarily due to the prevailing belief that the economy would produce robust job growth during the year ahead, even if overall wage growth remained dismal."

The index has slumped since March when it reached its highest level since 2004 with a reading of 101.4.

The survey considers 500 consumers' outlook on economic prospects, accounting for sentiment on personal finances, inflation, unemployment, government policies and interest rates.

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