U.S. Economic Indicators

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index edged down from 126.3 (revised) in September to 125.9 in October. Optimism eased slightly as consumers were less positive in their assessment of future business conditions and job prospects. Conference Board Report

The National Association of Realtors pending home sales index rose 1.5% in September (up 3.9% Y/Y).  NAR reports that although housing shortages are causing home prices to rise faster than incomes, buyers’ purchasing power has risen due to more favorable interest rates. NAR Report

U.S. News

According to the New York Times, Americans’ views of the economy are so divided along partisan lines that in the absence of outright recession, economic performance may matter less in the upcoming presidential election than in the past. Survey results suggest that a strong majority of registered Republicans view business conditions positively, compared to less than a quarter of registered Democrats. NYT

Nick Timiraos reports for the Wall Street Journal that Fed policymakers are likely to cut rates for a third time at this week’s meeting to provide additional ‘insurance’ aimed at providing support at a time of rising risks. The latest rate cuts appear to have boosted household spending on long-lasting, big-ticket items such as housing, autos, and durable appliances. WSJ