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Government shutdown hits US consumer confidence

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. consumer confidence fell in October as concern grew that the partial government shutdown and political fight over the nation's borrowing limit would slow growth.

The University of Michigan says its index of consumer sentiment fell to 73.2 from 77.5 in September. The index has fallen for three straight months after reaching a six-year high of 85.1 in July.

A measure of Americans' expectations for future growth fell to its lowest level since late 2011, pulling down the overall index.

"Consumers have increasingly moved toward the view that the government has become the primary obstacle to more robust economic growth," the survey said.

Americans made more negative references to the federal government this month than at any time in the roughly 50-year history of the survey.