The Conference Board said that its U.S. Consumer Confidence Index fell to 95.6 from a revised 99.5 in September. It was the lowest reading since 85.2 in October 2005.
For retailers, the consumer confidence report, which showed its third monthly decline in a row, heightens worries that the holiday shopping season will be challenging after a disappointing fall. For investors, it raised concerns that consumers' growing wariness was another sign that the economy may be slowing too much. Consumer spending accounts for two-thirds of U.S. economic activity.
In the report, those saying jobs are "hard to get" increased to 22.6% from 22.4%. Those claiming jobs are "plentiful" decreased to 24.1% from 25.6% in September.
The outlook for the labor market was also less optimistic. The percentage of consumers expecting more jobs in the months ahead was unchanged at 13.5, but those anticipating fewer jobs increased to 20.1% from 18.7%.