Consumer confidence has still not recovered from the October government shutdown.
In an ominous sign for retailers' Black Friday this week, The Conference Board reported Tuesday that its benchmark confidence index fell again in November to 70.4, down from 72.4 in October.
Confidence had taken a big hit in October in the wake of the 16-day government shutdown and last minute debt ceiling talks. Before the crisis, the index stood at 80.2 in September. The index had been 81.8 in August.
A score of 100 or more represents positive consumer sentiment. Weak sentiment tends to lower demand and could act as a break on the economy.
“All in all, with such uncertainly prevailing, this could be a challenging holiday season for retailers,” said Lynn Franco of The Conference Board. “When looking ahead six months, consumers expressed greater concern about future job and earning prospects, but remain neutral about economic conditions.
Standard & Poor's predicted last month that the shutdown, which failed to derail ObamaCare as some Republicans had intended, would cost $24 billion and shave 0.6 percent off of gross domestic product.