Consumer Comfort in U.S. Increases to a Three-Month Highby
Americans more upbeat about economy, finances, buying climate
The 2.1 point advance ends record 32 weeks in narrow band
Consumer confidence climbed to the highest point since mid-March as Americans grew more optimistic about the economy, personal finances and the buying climate, according to the weekly Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index released Thursday.
- Comfort index increased to 44.2 for the period ended June 19 from 42.1 in the prior week, the largest increase since January 2015
- Gauge of views on the economy improved to a two-month high of 35 from 32.7
- Personal finances measure rose to 57.5 the highest since end of March, from 55.8
- Buying climate index increased to 40 from 38
Consumer confidence bounced back with a 2.1 point increase after holding in a 1.5-point range for a record 32 weeks. The improvement in sentiment coincides with a pickup in May retail sales and more purchases of previously owned homes, underscoring forecasts that consumer spending and the economy are gathering pace in the second quarter after a slow start to the year.
- Sentiment improved in six of seven income brackets, with the biggest increase among Americans earnings between $40,000 to $50,000
- The gap between Republicans and Democrats widened to the most since April, with Republicans more pessimistic than Democrats
- Index for those with at least some college education rose to an almost nine-year high
- Sentiment among Americans older than 65 highest since May 2015