Consumer sentiment falls to 10-month low in October

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WASHINGTON — Consumer confidence dropped in October to a 10-month low, showing the reopening of the federal government failed to reassure households.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final consumer sentiment index decreased to 73.2, the weakest this year, from 77.5 in September. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey called for a decline to 75 compared with a preliminary reading of 75.2.

The government's partial closing prompted Americans to turn more pessimistic about the economy, whose recovery continues to be uneven. At the same time, record stock prices and rising property values will enhance some households' ability to spend as the holiday-shopping season approaches.

Estimates of the 52 economists surveyed ranged from 71 to 78.