With the partial shutdown of the U.S. government and the prospect the U.S. will default on its financial obligations, consumers don’t feel that good about the future, at least economically speaking, but they could also be doing a whole lot worse.
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary reading on consumer confidence fell to 75.2 in October, down from 77.5 in September. This latest figure is the lowest since January and is the third straight decline since hitting a six-year high in July.
The reading is a little worse than averages that came from a group of economists in separate polls by Reuters and Bloomberg News.
Despite the drop, Survey Director Richard Curtain said the decline was surprisingly small considering widespread awareness of the government shutdown.
"The muted response may be due to consumers giving progressively less credence to the economic scare tactics that have framed the debates over the past few years," he told Reuters.
Since the partial shutdown of the federal government on Oct. 1 many economic readings that it regularly puts out have been suspended, leaving this measure and a few others by private groups, some of the only few indicators available about the state of the U.S. economy or expectations about it.