The final University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for October was at 87.2, down from the preliminary estimate of 87.9, and down from 91.2 in September.
The Sentiment Index slipped in October to the same low recorded last September and to the lowest level since October 2014. The October decline was due to less favorable prospects for the national economy, with half of all consumers anticipating an economic downturn sometime in the next five years for the first time since October 2014. Objectively, the probability of a downturn during the next five years is far from zero-this would be the longest expansion in 150 years if it lasted just over half of the five year horizon. Nonetheless, the October rise may simply reflect a temporary bout of uncertainty caused by the election.