U.S. Consumer Sentiment Unexpectedly Declines

U.S. consumer sentiment unexpectedly declined in early November as an increase in COVID-19 infections and the election prompted Americans to reassess their outlooks for the economy and finances.

The University of Michigan’s preliminary sentiment index for November decreased to a three-month low of 77 from a final October reading of 81.8, data released Nov. 13 showed. The median estimate in Bloomberg’s survey of economists called for a reading of 82.

The measure of expectations dropped by nearly 8 points to 71.3, while a gauge of current conditions was little changed at 85.8. Interviews conducted following the election recorded a substantial negative shift in Republicans’ expectations and no gain among Democrats. The survey began Oct. 28 and concluded late Nov. 10.