Consumer Sentiment Lowest Since October 2005

U.S. consumer sentiment posted a surprisingly sharp fall in early November, hitting its lowest in two years as high energy costs and falling home prices pummeled confidence, a survey released Friday showed.

The Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers said its gauge of consumer sentiment fell to 75.0 from October's final result of 80.9.

The November reading was well below economists' median expectation of a reading of 80.0 in a poll conducted by Reuters and was the lowest since 74.2 in October 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Consumer sentiment is often seen as a proxy for future spending, which accounts for two-thirds of the U.S. economy.