The University of Michigan says its final reading of consumer sentiment dropped to 77.5 in September from 82.1 in August. It was the second straight decline after confidence reached a six-year high of 85.1 in July.
A potential budget impasse in Washington, which if unresolved could shut down the federal government Tuesday, spurred twice as many negative comments about government policy as three months ago, the survey found.
Americans are also less hopeful about their paychecks. Half of all households expect no pay increase in the year ahead. And a majority expects their income will trail inflation for the next five years.