Market news

30 October 2020

U.S. consumer sentiment slightly better than initially estimated in October

The final reading for the October Reuters/Michigan index of consumer sentiment came in at 81.8 compared to a preliminary reading of 81.2 and the September final reading of 80.4. This was the highest reading since March.

Economists had forecast the index to remain unrevised at 81.2.

According to the report, the index of the current economic conditions fell 2.2percent m-o-m to 85.9 from September’s final reading of 87.8. Meanwhile, the index of consumer expectations climbed 4.8 percent m-o-m to 79.2 from September’s final reading of 75.6.

“Consumer sentiment remained virtually unchanged from the first half of October (+0.6 points) and was insignificantly different from last month's figure (+1.4 points)”, noted Richard Curtin, the Surveys of Consumers chief economist. “Fear and loathing produced this false sense of stability. Fears were generated by rising covid infection and death rates, and loathing was generated by the hyper-partisanship that has driven the election to ideological extremes. Moreover, the impact of the covid virus and the extremes of hyper-partisanship will continue long past next week's election, with the potential to permanently alter the economic and political landscape.”

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