The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary October index of consumer sentiment fell to 57.5 from 59.4 a month earlier, the group reported today.
The median forecast of 73 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was 60.2, and estimates ranged from 57 to 64. The index averaged 89 in the five years leading up to the recession that began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009.
Retail sales rose more than forecast in September, easing concern that pessimism and scant hiring will derail the biggest part of the economy, another report showed today.
The 1.1 percent advance, the biggest since February, followed a 0.3 percent gain for August, a stronger performance than previously estimated, according to the Commerce Department in Washington. The median forecast of 85 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 0.7 percent rise in purchases last month.