More Americans See Economy Worsening Than at Any Time Since 2013

Are Lower Gas Prices Fueling Consumer Savings?
  • Weekly comfort measure also fell, with all three gauges down
  • Views on the buying climate dropped to weakest this year

More Americans in June saw the economy worsening than at any time in more than two and a half years, and a weekly gauge of consumer comfort also declined, according to figures from the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index released Thursday.

Key Points

  • Monthly economic expectations measure fell to 41 in June, the weakest since October 2013, from 44.5 in May
  • Weekly comfort index declined to 42.1 in the period ended June 12 from 43.5
  • Buying-climate gauge dropped to 38, the lowest since mid-December, from 40.3
  • Measure of personal finances decreased to 55.8 from 57.4
  • Weekly index of views on the economy eased to 32.7 from 32.9

Big Picture

Although consumer spending is strengthening this quarter -- and the old saw has been to look at what households do rather than what they say or how they feel -- fragile views on the economic outlook threaten to temper the purchases that make up the largest part of the economy. There will need to be a pickup in employment to bolster sentiment, particularly as the presidential-campaign rhetoric is likely to turn even more contentious heading into the upcoming election.

The Details

  • Confidence among unemployed eased to 33.3 last week, weakest this year, from 33.5
  • Sentiment among younger Americans and among renters fell to nine-month lows
  • Consumers in all four U.S. regions were more pessimistic
  • Five of seven income groups showed weakening in confidence
  • Hispanics were least confident since November 2014

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