Economic optimism rebounded in the latest month from a two-year low, but only partially recouped losses, suggesting a lingering impact on sentiment after the partial government shutdown ended.
The latest IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index jumped 3 points, or 7.8%, to 41.4. That followed a 16.5% plunge to a two-year-low 38.4 a month earlier just as the government shutdown was starting. The confidence gauge has held below the neutral 50 for 13 straight months.
The six-month outlook gauge gained 6.4%, but that followed a huge 22% retreat in the prior survey, conducted Sept. 28-Oct. 2. The latest survey was taken Oct. 26-30.
"Consumer confidence continues to be in a negative territory, for the thirteenth month in a row," said Raghavan Mayur, president of TIPP, a unit of TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence, IBD's polling partner. "Fifty-five percent think that the U.S. is still in a recession. While 57% feel the economy is not improving, 41% think the economy is improving. Seven percent of households have at least one person whose work hours have been cut or limited to fewer than 30 hours per week, as a result of ObamaCare, in the past 12 months."
Most demographic groups tracked showed improvements in the latest IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index. Republicans were gloomier, possibly reflecting the shutdown outcome and ObamaCare's rollout.
President Obama's approval hit a new low, according to the IBD/TIPP Presidential Leadership Index.
The last time the IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index was this low was during the 2011 debt ceiling fight that led Standard & Poor's to cut America's sovereign rating from AAA. The index didn't fully recoup those declines until the start of 2012.
But the link between consumer morale and consumer spending is tenuous. U.S. auto sales were strong in October. Beyond the consumer, ISM's U.S. manufacturing index rose to a 2-1/2-year high last month, partially on stronger export orders.
The Labor Department will release the October employment report on Friday. Economists expect a nonfarm payrolls gain of just 120,000, reflecting the impact of the 16-day partial shutdown on federal workers and contractors.