The latest economic reading is the Conference Board's report on monthly consumer confidence for October. The title of the report was "Consumer Confidence Decreases Sharply in October," but this easily could have been "A Total Lack of Consumer Confidence."
Tuesday's report from the Conference Board said consumer confidence declined moderately in September, with a drop of only 2.1 points to 79.7. The October reading hit the skids as the new reading fell all the way down to 71.2 from a revised figure of 80.2 in September.
It is bad on current and future expectations as well, obviously due largely to the Washington D.C. shenanigans. The Present Situation Index fell to 70.7 from 73.5. The Expectations Index, the future outlook, fell hard to 71.5 from 84.7 last month.
What we advise readers to consider is that this report obviously is skewed heavily by the government shutdown and debt ceiling debate. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was October 17, so many of the responses were likely during the height of fear.
It seems likely to expect a sharp snap back for November, but there is a warning from the Conference Board. The report said:
Similar declines in confidence were experienced during the payroll tax hike earlier this year, the fiscal cliff discussions in late 2012, and the government shutdown in 1995/1996. However, given the temporary nature of the current resolution, confidence is likely to remain volatile for the next several months.
Filed under: Economy