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U.S. Consumer Comfort Drops to Five-Month Low on Economic Views

  • Gauge of sentiment about economy is weakest since mid-December
  • Confidence among political independents at nine-month low

Consumer confidence fell last week to a five-month low as Americans became more downbeat about the economy, Bloomberg Consumer Comfort data showed Thursday. Sentiment around personal finances and the buying climate were little changed after declining the previous week.

Moderation in labor-market improvement, impatience with the pace of wage gains and decelerating economic growth are disappointing Americans amid divisive election-year campaigning. The weekly gauge matches the tone of monthly reports on confidence. The Conference Board’s measure has declined since the end of last year and the University of Michigan’s index last month was the weakest since September. One silver lining: this year’s average reading in the comfort gauge is the best of the expansion, signaling consumers will keep spending.