US Consumer Sentiment Moves up to 60.9 in October

October 29 00:00 2011

New York, October 29 ( – Reaching its highest level since July while still staying low, the US consumer sentiment rose to 60.9 in October, compared to a preliminary October reading of 57.5, and a September level of 59.4. However, Richard Curtin, chief economist for the consumer survey felt that in spite of this minor improvement, consumers are still concerned about personal finances. Economists had predicted a slight increase in October to 58 with consumers somewhat cheered by stock gains.

Curtin said that “The upcoming debates about spending cuts and tax hikes surrounding the budget resolution will increase uncertainty and cause consumers to become even more prudent spenders.” In the year before the start of the most recent recession, the sentiment figure which covers how consumers view their personal finances as well as business and buying conditions, averaged 87.

Economists study the confidence readings in order to get the pulse of the trend of consumer spending as it makes up the largest portion of the economy. However, recently the relationship between sentiment and spending has broken down as consumers have been spending more than what would be expected in the recessionary atmosphere.

Some analysts have however been expecting somewhat higher sentiment results because the labor market has been steadily, though slowly, adding jobs since 2010.