Highlights of Consumer Comfort
Consumer Comfort Reaches 16-Year High on U.S. Economic OptimismBy Michelle Jamrisko
Americans last week registered their strongest optimism in 16 years on more upbeat views about the state of the economy, their personal finances and the buying atmosphere, according to Bloomberg Consumer Comfort data released Thursday.
HIGHLIGHTS OF CONSUMER COMFORT (WEEK ENDED AUG. 6)
Consumers had reason to feel upbeat last week with stocks again reaching all-time highs and as Friday’s report on July employment confirmed the strong labor market remains intact. Record-high job vacancies help explain why lower-income Americans and the unemployed are more positive about their prospects. The latter group hasn’t been this optimistic since before the last recession. While the robust job market is offsetting the disappointment tied to lack of progress in Washington on health care and tax reform, geopolitical tensions related to North Korea represent a risk to consumer optimism.
- Among those making less than $50,000 a year, comfort index rose by 1 point to 37.9, the strongest in records for that group dating to December 2010
- Sentiment among the unemployed climbed to 43.6, highest in a decade, from 40.9
- Among renters, comfort increased to 43.2, the strongest since May 2007, from 42.2
- All four regions advanced, with sentiment in the South at its strongest since early April and comfort in the West at its highest since February