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October U.S. Consumer Sentiment Weakest Since January

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WASHINGTON (10/15/13)--American consumers are in a worse mood than expected, according to a Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan measure of consumer sentiment.

The measured index was down to 75.2 in October from 77.5 in September. While the month-to-month decline was expected, economists recently polled by Reuters believed the measure would only drop to 76 (Reuters Oct. 11).

However, survey director Richard Curtin said the drop wasn't large when weighed against the government shutdown. A St. Louis-based research firm called Macroeconomic Advisers shaved 0.2 percentage points off of its 2.1% fourth quarter annualized gross domestic product (GDP) growth prediction in the wake of the shutdown (Marketwatch.com Oct. 11).
 
The deconstructed metric also showed that the measure reflecting consumers' views of current conditions increased to 92.8 in October, up from 92.6 in September, while the gauge of consumers' expectations for the future fell to 63.9 in October, down from 67.8 in September.

Underlying consumers' perception that economic growth is slowing, the poll showed that consumers' expectations of one-year inflation fell to 2.9%, down from 3.3% in September (Moody's Economy.com Oct. 11).

Index For Future Economic Growth Drops

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NEW YORK (10/15/13)--An index of future U.S. economic growth fell to a three-month low on Friday.

The Weekly Leading Index, a metric compiled by the New York-based Economic Cycle Research Institute, fell to 130.4 in the week ending on Oct.4--down from 132.1 the previous week (Reuters Oct. 11).

The decline is the largest one week drop since mid-April 2012 (Moody's Economy.com Oct. 11).

The ECRI measure of smooth, annualized growth also decelerated to 3.8%, its slowest pace all year, and well below its 2013 peak of 8.8%.