Shoppers walk around the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, U.S. (Photographer: Ariana Lindquist/Bloomberg)

U.S. Consumer Comfort Cools as Economy Views Hit Five-Month Low

(Bloomberg) -- Americans’ sentiment cooled as a gauge of views on the economy fell to a five-month low, the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index showed Thursday.

Highlights of Consumer Comfort (Week Ended June 3) 

  • Weekly index decreased to 54.8 from 55.2
  • Gauge tracking current views of the economy fell to 54.9 from 56.1 
  • Measure of buying climate unchanged at 47.3 
  • Gauge of personal finances at 62.1 after 62.2 

Key Takeaways

Even with the latest results, the weekly comfort index is running only slightly below its 2018 average of 55.9, having cooled gradually from a 17-year high reached in mid-April. Rising gasoline costs are a headwind for Americans’ pocketbooks, though that’s being cushioned by the strong labor market. Firmer job growth helps explain why economists are projecting a pickup in second-quarter consumer spending.

Other Details

  • Comfort gauge for Americans older than 65 fell to a five-week low of 56.6
  • The index declined in three of four regions, and rose in the West
  • Index among Republicans was little changed and climbed to a six-week high among Democrats

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