Consumer Comfort in U.S. Eases for a Second Straight Week

  • Decrease in views of economy matches biggest in eight months
  • Sentiment declines across six of seven income brackets

Household confidence eased for a second week as Americans’ views of the economy deteriorated in the wake of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, according to the weekly Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index released Thursday.

Key Points

  • Consumer comfort index fell to 43.5 for the week ended July 3 from 43.9
  • Sentiment on the economy retreated 2.2 points to 33.1, matching the largest drop in eight months
  • Personal finances gauge improved to 56.9 from 56.5
  • Buying climate measure rose to 40.6, the highest since Feb. 21, from 39.9

Big Picture

Market turmoil following the Brexit decision may have darkened consumer attitudes about the economy’s prospects, offsetting improvements in views of personal finances and the buying climate as interest rates consequently dropped. Eyes turn to the June payrolls report Friday and whether dimmer attitudes toward the economy also reflect more modest job growth. Still, the comfort index is in line with this year’s average. 

The Details

  • Comfort gauge dropped in six out of seven income brackets; only increase was among those making less than $15,000 per year
  • Regionally, consumers in Northeast had the lowest confidence since November and those in South were the most upbeat since mid-October
  • Sentiment among Republicans weakened to lowest level since end of August
  • Democrat were more confident than Republican by the second-widest margin in records to mid-1990s
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