Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Consumer Comfort in U.S. Rises to Highest in Almost Two Months

  • Buying climate gauge increased to best since early October
  • All three measures climbed, led by brighter views of economy

Consumer confidence rose last week to the highest level in almost two months as Americans reported brighter attitudes about the national economy, their personal finances and the buying climate.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index increased to 42.2 in the period ended Dec. 20 from 40.9 the prior week. The improvement left the gauge closer to the 2015 average of 42.9.

All three components of the comfort index climbed last week. The gauge of Americans’ views of the economy advanced to an eight-week high of 33 from 30.6 in the prior survey. Respondents were slightly more upbeat about their finances, with that index edging higher to 55 from 54.9.

The measure of whether it’s a good or bad time to buy rose to 38.6, its strongest since the week ended Oct. 11 and indicating U.S. consumers were in the mood to shop toward the end of the holiday season. The gauge was at 37.2 in the prior period and has averaged 37.9 in the year to date.

The figures also showed those making less than $15,000 were the most optimistic in eight years, helping trim the gap between the highest and lowest earners to its smallest since July.

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