U.S. consumer sentiment dips to lowest since November

* Sentiment down at 67.7 vs 68.2 in September

* Overall sentiment weakest since November 2009

* Economic discontent expressed ahead of elections

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK, Oct 29 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. consumer sentiment
worsened more than expected in October, hitting its weakest
level since November, with concern about the economy high
leading into next week’s election, a survey showed on Friday.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s final October
reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment came in at
67.7, down from 68.2 in September and below the 68.0 median
forecast among economists polled by Reuters.

Tuesday’s congressional elections are expected to result in
losses for the Democratic Party, at least partly because of
high unemployment and consumers’ views on how Democratic
President Barack Obama is handling the economy.

Earlier this month, the survey showed consumers’
assessments of government economic policies fell to the lowest
level since Obama took office.

“Residents of nearly all local areas expressed economic
discontent. It would not be surprising for consumer confidence
to rebound following the election; it would be surprising if
those gains proved to be more than temporary,” the survey’s
director, Richard Curtin, said in Friday’s report.

Consumer spending typically accounts for about two-thirds
of U.S. economic activity and is considered critical to the
recovery.

The survey’s barometer of current economic conditions
declined to 76.6 in October from 79.6 in September. It was
forecast by economists to come in at 73.5.

The survey’s gauge of consumer expectations edged up to
61.9, above last month’s 60.9 reading but below a forecast of
65.

The survey’s measure on consumers’ 12-month economic
outlook rose to 67 compared with 61 in September, but the
measure on their five-year outlook declined to 70 from 73 in
September.

At the same time, the one-year inflation expectations
measure rose to 2.7 percent from 2.2 percent in September, and
the five-to-10-year inflation outlook index inched up to 2.8
percent from 2.7 percent in September.

(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch, Editing by Chizu
Nomiyama)

U.S. consumer sentiment dips to lowest since November