US consumer sentiment eased in October: Report


US consumer sentiment unexpectedly dipped in October to a still-elevated level amid slightly dimmer views of personal finances and the long-term economic outlook, a University of Michigan report showed.
This week’s sharp drop in US stocks overlapped with survey interviews by only one evening, “having virtually no influence on the early October data,” according to the report. The poll was conducted from September 26 through October 10, the day the S&P 500 index fell by the most since February. Even so, a gauge of current views on personal finances fell to the weakest level since May, and the outlook for finances also softened. The median expected gain in Americans’ income weakened to 1.7 percent, down from 2.1 percent in September, according to the report.
The report said confidence in the government’s economic policies rose in October to the highest in more than a decade, a potential positive sign for Republicans ahead of midterm elections that will decide control of Congress. Special questions on the vote showed 35 percent of respondents in September and October said Republican control of Congress would be better for the overall economy, compared with 26 percent who favoured Democrats. Thirty-six percent said party control wouldn’t make much difference. The poll sho-wed a similar breakdown in responses to a question about which party would be better for personal finances.

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