Favorable Views of Finances Drive U.S. Consumer Comfort Higher
(Bloomberg) -- Increased optimism about personal finances and the buying climate propelled U.S. consumer sentiment last week to a fresh 17-year high, the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index showed Thursday.
Highlights of Consumer Comfort (Week Ended April 8)
Sustained strength in the job market and more take-home pay following federal tax cuts continue to lift Americans’ spirits despite stock-market swings and the threat of a trade war. The optimism could provide an added boost to household spending and the economy. Following the latest increase, the personal finances index is now just 4 points short of an all-time high reached in 1998, while the buying-climate measure is 6.6 points from its 2000 record. The figures are in sync with the government’s latest jobs report, which showed steady improvement in the labor market.
- Index of sentiment climbed in three of four regions, led by Midwest; fell in South
- Comfort among Democrats picked up, while confidence among Republicans is the second-highest since 2000
- Women more upbeat than at any time since 2001, while comfort among respondents who earn less than $50,000 was the highest in records back to Dec. 2010
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