U.S. Consumer Comfort Eased Last Week From Three-Month Highby
Democrats’ index exceeds Republicans’ by second-most on record
Sentiment on economy at highest level since early April
Consumer comfort eased last week from a three-month high as Americans became a bit less upbeat about their finances, according to the weekly Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index released Thursday.
- Comfort measure fell to 43.9 in the period ended June 26 from 44.2 last week
- Measure of views on the economy increased to 35.3, highest since April, from 35
- Personal finances index dropped to 56.5 from 57.5
- Buying climate gauge little changed at 39.9 after 40
The confidence index has see-sawed within a narrow 2.9-point band since mid-December on mixed economic news, and is currently hovering near this year’s average. Since the index is a rolling average of the last four weeks, the latest reading has yet to fully incorporate the potential effects of market turmoil from Britain’s decision to leave the European Union. Another source of uncertainty is the U.S. presidential election, which is beginning to show up in differing attitudes among the political parties. Republican consumers are growing more downbeat while sentiment among Democrats is improving. The comfort index for Democrats exceeds that of Republicans by the second-widest margin since records began in 1990.
- Difference between Democrat and Republican comfort indexes widened to 14.1
- Sentiment among women at an eight-month high of 42.6
- Comfort for Americans over 65 years old strongest since May 2015
- Index at a seven-month low for those with annual incomes less than $50,000 and at a two-month high for those earning more than $100,000 a year