High Gas Prices Push U.S. Consumer Comfort to Seven-Week Low

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(Bloomberg) -- Rising prices at the gas pump helped drive U.S. household sentiment to a seven-week low at the end of April, the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index showed on Thursday.

Highlights of Consumer Comfort (Week Ended April 29)

  • Weekly comfort index dropped to 56.5 from 57.5; down 1.6 points in last two weeks, the most since October
  • Personal finances measure fell to 63.3 from 64.3, the third straight decline
  • Comfort index of buying climate decreased to 48.6 from 50.2
  • Gauge tracking views of the economy eased to 57.6 from 57.9

Key Takeaways

Confidence took another step back just two weeks after reaching a 17-year high, with Americans now paying the most for a gallon of gasoline since November 2014. Costlier fill-ups leave less to spend on other goods and services, helping explain the largest decline in the buying-climate index since September. At the same time, the measure of consumer comfort is in line with this year’s average.

Other Details

  • Comfort index for those in the West slumped 2.9 points, the most since October, while sentiment in the Northeast declined for a third week
  • Confidence weakened among most income groups

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