Consumer, trade data paints bleak picture

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. consumer sentiment soured in early November on grim job prospects while a larger-than-expected trade deficit had analysts scaling back estimates for third-quarter U.S. economic growth.

The Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers said on Friday its preliminary index of sentiment for November fell to 66.0, the lowest since August, from 70.6 in October. This was well below economists’ median expectation of a reading of 71.0, according to a Reuters poll.

“Importantly, the decline in confidence was already in place before the announced increase in the unemployment rate to 10.2 percent on November 6,” the Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers said in a statement, adding “the likelihood that the sentiment index would drift even lower in the months ahead cannot be easily dismissed.”

Within the survey, the 12-month economic outlook fell to its lowest since April.

Separately, the government reported the U.S. trade deficit widened in September by an unexpectedly large 18.2 percent, the biggest monthly jump in 10 years, as oil prices rose for a seventh straight month and imports from China increased.


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