U.S. Consumer Comfort Falls to Eight-Week Low Amid Virus Surge

A weekly measure of U.S. consumer confidence dropped to an eight-week low as new cases of Covid-19 swept through much of the country.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell to 46.3 last week on a zero to 100 scale, data released Thursday showed. Although that represented just a small drop from the prior period, it marked the lowest point since late August.

A measure of confidence in the economy decreased 2.9 points in two weeks, the largest such decline since May. Over that time period, the sentiment of Americans earning less than $50,000 a year dropped to a six-week low of 37.5.

Losses in the index over the last month are largely concentrated among Republicans, falling 7.5 points to a two-month low of 63.6. The measure of confidence remains lower among Democrats at 40.9 and independents at 40.7 -- essentially showing no change over the past month.

“Certainly lower consumer confidence correlates with anti-incumbent voting,” said Gary Langer, head of Langer Research Associates, which produces the index. But he cautioned against using the data to predict election results.

Typically, Democrats and Republicans each have a better outlook on the economy when their party is in power.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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