Economic Views Lift U.S. Consumer Comfort to Fresh 17-Year High

(Bloomberg) -- Americans’ confidence rose to the highest level since February 2001 on brighter assessments of the economy, the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index showed Thursday.

Highlights of Consumer Comfort (Week Ended July 23)

  • Weekly index increased for a seventh straight week, to 59 from 58.8
  • Gauge of current views of the economy rose to 61.5, the second-highest level since February 2001, from 59.2 
  • Measure of buying climate decreased to 50.6 from 52
  • Comfort gauge of personal finances edged down to 64.9 from 65.1

Key Takeaways

Confidence is rising as Americans continue to enjoy the benefits of tax cuts and a strong labor market, with data last week showing jobless claims fell to the lowest since 1969, while showing little concern about new tariffs and intensifying rhetoric surrounding trade issues. A more upbeat view of the economy outweighed weaker sentiment about the buying climate and household finances.

Other Details

  • Confidence among men increased while it fell among women, leaving the widest gap in more than 11 years
  • Comfort among Americans earning more than $50,000 a year reached highest level since January 2001
  • Sentiment among part-time workers climbed to a 17-year high

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