Consumer confidence plunged this month, falling to the lowest level since April as the effects of the federal government’s shutdown and Congressional wrangling over the debt ceiling shook Americans’ outlook for the economy.
The Conference Board’s monthly confidence index fell to 71.2, down from 80.2 last month. “Similar declines in confidence were experienced during the payroll tax hike earlier this year, the fiscal cliff discussions in late 2012, and the government shutdown in 1995/1996,” Lynn Franco, The Conference Board’s director of economic indicators, said in a statement
accompanying the data. “However, given the temporary nature of the current resolution, confidence is likely to remain volatile for the next several months.”
Given that grim picture, this bit of analysis and speculation from JPMorgan economist Daniel Silver jumped out at us:
The weakening in confidence was widespread across most of the reported demographic groupings (based on region, age, and income). One notable exception, however, was a surge in confidence in New England in October. It’s probably a fool’s errand to try explaining monthly changes in the choppy regional data, but there is a major sports team still playing baseball in the region.
After last night's win, we’re betting the region's barbershops are celebrating.
Editor's Note: This article by Yuval Rosenberg originally appeared on The Fiscal Times.
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