U.S. consumer sentiment unexpectedly fell in early November due to the outcome of the presidential election and a resurgence in COVID-19 infections and deaths, weighing on the economic outlook, the University of Michigan said on Friday.
The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index dropped to 77 early this month from a final reading of 81.8 in October. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the index would be little changed at 82.
“Interviews conducted following the election recorded a substantial negative shift in the expectations index among Republicans, but recorded no gain among Democrats,” the University of Michigan said in a statement.
“It is likely that Democrats’ fears about the Covid resurgence offset gains in economic expectations: 59% of Democrats reported that their normal life had changed to a great extent due to the coronavirus compared with just 34% among Republicans.”
Democrat Joe Biden captured the U.S. presidency in a narrow win over President Donald Trump in the Nov. 3 election.