U.S. consumer sentiment unexpectedly falls in November

NEW YORK Fri Nov 8, 2013 9:58am EST

A woman goes down an escalator at a Toys R Us store in New York, December 14, 2010. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

A woman goes down an escalator at a Toys R Us store in New York, December 14, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. consumer sentiment unexpectedly dipped in November to a near two-year low as lower-income households worried about their job prospects and financial outlooks and negative views of the government lingered, a survey released on Friday showed.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary reading on the overall index of consumer sentiment fell to 72.0 in November, its lowest since December 2011. That was lower than both October's final reading of 73.2 and the 74.5 economists had expected this month.

Lower-income households in particular worried about their future financial state. That was a contrast to richer households - those with incomes above $75,000 - which felt more optimistic as stock prices increases boosted net wealth gains.

Nevertheless, consumers largely remained nearly as negative on government policies as they were last month, when a federal government shutdown prompted worries growth would drag.

The government also came close to breaching its borrowing limit, which compounded the crisis and could have pushed the country closer to an historic debt default.

"Following the end of the shutdown, consumers were somewhat more optimistic about the outlook for the economy, but thus far the rebound has been lackluster," survey director Richard Curtin said in a statement.

The survey's gauge of consumer expectations edged down to 62.3, compared to 62.5 in October and expectations of 64.0.

The index of current conditions slipped to 87.2 from 89.9 last month. Analysts had projected a reading of 90.0.

The one-year inflation expectation rose to 3.1 percent from 3.0 percent, while the five-to-10-year inflation outlook gained to 2.9 percent from 2.8 percent.

(Reporting by Luciana Lopez; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)

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Comments (14)
dualcitizen wrote:
George Will on President Obama

America has had some great presidents, many mediocre ones and a few bad ones. But we’ve never had one like Barack Obama. He’s the first who thinks the job is beneath him.

He’s the first who turns political give-and-take into a crisis by refusing to negotiate with Congress.

He’s the first who thinks the way to more power is to inflict pain on ordinary people.

The move to barricade the World War II memorial reveals the mentality of a tin-pot dictator. The limited government shutdown did not need to affect the memorial because it is open 24 hours, without gates and often without guards.

But to turn public opinion in his favor, Obama’s goons trucked in barricades to keep out World War II vets and other visitors. By one estimate, the barricades and workers cost $100,000.

The same punish-the-people attitude led to shutdowns of other parks and historic sites that get no federal funding.

“We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting,” a Park Service ranger told The Washington Times.

The ranger cited the order to close the parking lot at George Washington’s home in Mount Vernon so visitors couldn’t use it. The cheap trick captured the contrast between a revered president and the current one.

I’ve been saying for a while that there is no bottom to Obama. He’s not just ruthless. He’s without scruples and honor.

Now the shutdown has ended, it will bring only a temporary respite from the crisis atmosphere in Washington . When it comes to his countrymen, Obama always chooses conflict over cooperation.

Meanwhile, Jimmy Carter can rest easy. We have a new worst president.

Nov 08, 2013 10:28am EST  --  Report as abuse
satori23 wrote:
Amount of ”expect the unexpected” headlines today is unusual, even for Reuters.

Nov 08, 2013 10:32am EST  --  Report as abuse
Crash866 wrote:
Really…who’s not surprised…wait until the holiday sales are bad…tick tock…

Nov 08, 2013 10:41am EST  --  Report as abuse
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