US consumer confidence plunges on gov't shutdown - KMSP-TV

US consumer confidence plunges on gov't shutdown

Posted: Updated:

By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER

AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Americans' confidence in the economy fell this month to the lowest level since April, as many worried about the impact of a 16-day partial government shutdown. The decline could weigh on spending and economic growth.

The Conference Board said Tuesday that its index of consumer confidence dropped to 71.2 in October, down from 80.2 the previous month. September's figure was revised slightly higher.

Consumers became particularly pessimistic in their outlook on the economy six months from now, while their assessment of current economic conditions declined by much less. They also expect less hiring in the months ahead. Consumers' confidence is closely watched because their spending accounts for 70 percent of economic activity.

Americans became more confident in the spring as job gains were healthy and economic growth improved. The Conference Board's measure reached 82.1 in June, the highest in 5 1/2 years. That's still below the reading of 90 that is consistent with a healthy economy.

Confidence has dropped in three of the four months since June. The shutdown already caused a drop this month in the University of Michigan's measure of consumer sentiment. Americans made more negative references to the federal government's impact on the economy in October than at any time in the 50-year history of the survey, the university said.

Falling confidence can cause Americans to spend less, which would slow the economic growth. But sometimes consumers spend more, even when they say they are less confident.

Weaker job growth is also weighing on consumers' outlook. Employers added an average of just 143,000 jobs a month from July through September. That's down from 182,000 a month in April through June and 207,000 in the first three months of the year.

Sluggish spending is likely to weigh on economic growth. Most economists predict growth slowed in the July-September quarter to an annual rate of about 1.5 percent to 2 percent, down from a 2.5 percent rate in the April-June quarter. And the shutdown is likely to keep growth at a tepid pace for the final three months of the year.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Your MoneyMore>>

  • Beach fashion

    Long-sleeved swimsuit is latest beach and pool fashion trend

    Long-sleeved swimsuit is latest beach and pool fashion trend

    Monday, July 21 2014 6:13 PM EDT2014-07-21 22:13:49 GMT
    You have lots of ways to look stylish on the beach, from a bikini to a tankini to a one piece. But the newest trend is long-sleeved swimsuits -- modesty takes precedence over a golden glow. The new beachwear is turning up on sites like ASOS and on luxury sites like Neiman Marcus. There are one piece versions and crop top versions.One of the pioneers of the trend is Dallas-based clothing company Cover.
    You have lots of ways to look stylish on the beach, from a bikini to a tankini to a one piece. But the newest trend is long-sleeved swimsuits -- modesty takes precedence over a golden glow. The new beachwear is turning up on sites like ASOS and on luxury sites like Neiman Marcus. There are one piece versions and crop top versions.One of the pioneers of the trend is Dallas-based clothing company Cover.
  • Wawa to close first store opened 50 years ago

    Wawa to close first store opened 50 years ago

    Monday, July 21 2014 3:01 PM EDT2014-07-21 19:01:43 GMT
    Wawa plans to close the first convenience store opened by the chain in the Philadelphia suburbs a half-century ago.  Susan Bratton, Wawa's regional real estate manager, says the old store is just too small.
    Wawa plans to close the first convenience store opened by the chain in the Philadelphia suburbs a half-century ago.  Susan Bratton, Wawa's regional real estate manager, says the old store is just too small.
  • Cable company customer service rage

    Cable company customer service rage

    Wednesday, July 16 2014 10:58 PM EDT2014-07-17 02:58:18 GMT
    Find someone, anyone, with cable TV who hasn't had at least one miserable experience dealing with that company's customer service people and you've accomplished something we couldn't. But in fairness to the cable companies, whose business model at this point resembles that of a cartel, as customers we don't always handle system outages or the explanations for them in the most mature fashion.
    Find someone, anyone, with cable TV who hasn't had at least one miserable experience dealing with that company's customer service people and you've accomplished something we couldn't. But in fairness to the cable companies, whose business model at this point resembles that of a cartel, as customers we don't always handle system outages or the explanations for them in the most mature fashion.
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices